Thursday, March 30, 2023
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FBI Searches Biden’s Beach House for More Classified Docs

'Under DOJ’s standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate...'

(Headline USA) The FBI was conducting a planned search Wednesday of President Joe Biden’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as part of its investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents, the president’s personal lawyer said.

The search follows a 13-hour, top-to-bottom review of his home in Wilmington on Jan. 20, when agents located additional documents with classified markings and also took possession of some of his handwritten notes.

The searches follow a growing scandal made worse by Biden’s previous support for an unprecedented FBI raid on the Mar-a-Lago resort of former President Donald Trump under similar circumstances.

However, while Trump had the authority to declassify documents he took with him following the end of his presidential term, Biden clearly did not, with some documents dating back to his time as a U.S. senator.

Moreover, while Trump’s documents were kept in a secured vault, Biden’s were strewn haphazardly in various parts of the home, including the garage, while his son Hunter was renting the house.

With little choice in the matter, Biden has been “voluntarily” allowing the Justice Department into his residences as investigators seek to determine how the documents wound up in his home and office. But unlike with Trump, Biden’s own legal team has been given extraordinary latitude to oversee the process thus far.

The probe followed the Nov. 2 discovery of documents with classified markings by Biden’s lawyers as they closed up an office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank affiliated with the Ivy League school.

Documents were also found at his Wilmington home by his personal lawyers, who initiated a search after the Penn Biden center documents were discovered. The FBI also searched the Penn Biden Center in November following the initial discovery of documents there, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

“Under DOJ’s standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate,” said the statement from Biden’s lawyer, Bob Bauer. “The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate. We will have further information at the conclusion of today’s search.”

An FBI spokeswoman referred comment to the Justice Department. A spokesman there did not immediately return a message seeking comment. It was not immediately clear whether any additional classified documents were found.

The Biden documents probe is being handled by a special counsel, Robert Hur, the former top federal prosecutor in Baltimore. He is starting his work this week, inheriting a months-long investigation already undertaken by FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors.

However, there has been speculation that Hur’s main role may be to do damage control and cover-up the scandal rather than pursue any prosecutorial action against Biden.

The Bidens purchased the home, which overlooks a state park adjacent to the beach, in June 2017, months after he left the vice presidency.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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