(Headline USA) The FBI searched the University of Delaware in recent weeks for classified documents as part of its investigation into the potential mishandling of sensitive government records by President Joe Biden.
The search, first reported by CNN, was confirmed to the Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The person would not say whether anything was found.
The revelation comes in the wake of shocking reports from conservative media outlets that the school, which houses all of Biden’s senate archives, currently under lock and key, had received millions in Chinese donations starting in 2017, shortly after it opened its Biden Institute, which planned to host an annual event similar to the World Economic Forum.
Chinese funding of the Penn Biden Center, a global policy think tank through the University of Pennsylvania, came under scrutiny after classified documents were discovered in November in a D.C. branch where Hunter Biden had previously sought to share office space with some of his China-linked business associates.
After that revelation went public in January, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Robert Tur in what some believe is more of cover-up than criminal probe.
Unlike a parallel investigation involving former President Donald Trump, Biden’s personal lawyers have been given tremendous latitude to oversee and define the parameters of “voluntary” searches, including Biden’s two homes in Delaware, both of which resulted in the removal of undisclosed materials.
The FBI took six items that contained documents with classified markings during its January search of the Wilmington home, Biden’s personal lawyer has said.
Agents did not find classified documents at the Rehoboth Beach property but did take some handwritten notes and other materials relating to Biden’s time as vice president for review.
In 2011, Biden donated his records from his 36 years serving in the U.S. Senate to the University of Delaware, his alma mater. The documents arrived June 6, 2012, according to the university, which released photos of the numbered boxes being unloaded at the university alongside blue and gold balloons.
Despite several lawsuits demanding that the records be unsealed under the Freedom of Information Act, Delaware law allows the school to continue guarding them from public scrutiny. The terms of Biden’s donation stipulate that the records are to remain sealed until two years after he retires from public life.
Biden’s Senate records would not be covered by the Presidential Records Act, though prohibitions on mishandling classified information would still apply.
The White House referred questions to the Justice Department, which declined to comment. The University of Delaware also referred questions to the Justice Department.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press