The oversight panel is “concerned that President Biden has compromised [intelligence] sources,” said Republican head James Comer. The files were discovered at the Penn Biden Center in Washington and are said to contain briefings on other countries. The case is presently being investigated by the US Justice Department.
Mr. Comer, who represents a Kentucky district, has requested that the White House give over any records and communications related to the classified items, as well as a list of those who had access to the office space, by January 24. It is not a legal summons, but rather a request. Mr. Biden told reporters on Tuesday in Mexico City, where he is attending a meeting, that he was “surprised” by the discovery.
“I don’t know what’s in the documents,” he said, indicating his lawyers had advised him not to inquire about the contents. “We’re cooperating fully with the review,” he added. The level of classification of the papers, as well as their presence, is unknown.
Bloomberg says, citing a source familiar with the situation, that the ten confidential files include US intelligence memos and briefing materials covering issues such as Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom. According to CNN, one of Mr. Biden’s attorneys found them in a manila folder labeled “personal” at the Penn Biden Center.
According to a person acquainted with the situation, the batch did not include nuclear secrets, according to the BBC‘s US partner CBS News. Officials are apparently looking into whether Mr. Biden has any more confidential information in other locations. According to the special counsel to the president Richard Sauber, the records were found in a locked closet in Mr. Biden’s former private office on November 2, last year, just days before the US midterm elections.
According to Mr. Biden’s lawyer, the data dates from his time as vice president from 2009 to 2017. From 2017 through 2020, Mr. Biden worked at the think group, which is just a mile from the White House. Mr. Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, is under investigation by the Justice Department for bringing confidential material to his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, after leaving office.
Republicans, who just took control of the US House and have promised to investigate the Biden administration, have accused the president of hypocrisy. When questioned about the documents found at Mar-a-Lago, President Biden stated it was “totally irresponsible” in a September interview with CBS. However, there are significant differences between Mr. Biden’s and Mr. Trump’s situations.
Mr. Trump’s investigation involves almost 300 documents with classified markings, including 18 marked top secrets. According to the White House, Mr. Biden’s lawyers notified the National Archives as soon as they found the files, and the agency retrieved them the next morning.
The FBI is involved in the investigation, according to CBS News, and US Attorney General Merrick Garland has been requested to evaluate the papers. Mr. Trump has made comments about the situation on his social media site, Truth Social. “Why didn’t the ‘Justice’ Department announce the Highly Classified documents found in the Biden Office before the Election?” he posted on Tuesday. “A V.P. cannot Declassify documents,” he said in another post, adding: “A President, me, can Declassify.”