FBI find more classified documents after 13-hour search of Joe Biden’s home

The level of classification, and whether they remained classified, was not immediately clear

The FBI searched US president Joe Biden’s home in Delaware on Friday, locating additional documents with classified markings and also taking possession of some of his handwritten notes, his lawyer has said.

Bob Bauer said the department of justice conducted the search at Biden’s Wilmington residence on Friday. He said it lasted about 13 hours.

The department “took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the president’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as vice-president,” Mr Bauer said in a statement.

Prosecutors also “took for further review personally handwritten notes from the vice-presidential years”, he said.


The level of classification, and whether they remained classified, was not immediately clear as the department of justice reviews the records.

Generally, classified documents are to be declassified after a maximum of 25 years. But some records are of such value they remain classified for far longer, though specific exceptions must be granted. Biden served the Senate from 1973 to 2009.

The president voluntarily allowed the FBI into his home.

The search followed more than a week after Biden’s lawyers found six other classified documents in the president’s home library from his time as vice-president, and nearly three months after lawyers found a small number of classified records at his former offices at the Penn Biden Centre in Washington.

It came a day after Biden maintained that “there’s no there there” on the document discoveries, which have become a political headache for the president and complicated the department’s investigation into former president Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents and official records after he left office.

“We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden told reporters who questioned him during a tour of the damage from storms in California.

“We immediately turned them over to the archives and the justice department.”

Biden said he was “fully co-operating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly”.

The president and first lady Jill Biden were not at the home when it was searched. They are spending the weekend at their home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

Mr Bauer said the FBI requested that the White House not comment on the search before it was conducted. He said the FBI “had full access to the president’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades”.

Attorney general Merrick Garland has appointed former Maryland US attorney Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate any potential wrongdoing surrounding the Biden documents.

“Since the beginning, the president has been committed to handling this responsibly because he takes this seriously,” White House lawyer Richard Sauber said on Saturday.

“The president’s lawyers and White House counsel’s office will continue to co-operate with DOJ (department of justice) and the special counsel to help ensure this process is conducted swiftly and efficiently.”

The Biden investigation has also complicated the department’s investigation into Trump’s retention of classified documents and official records after he left office.

The department says Trump took hundreds of records marked classified with him upon leaving the White House in early 2021 and resisted months of requests to return them to the Government, and that it had to obtain a search warrant to retrieve them. – AP