In the affair of finding secret government documents, investigators also searched the weekend home of US President Joe Biden. However, no other secret documents were found in the property in Rehoboth Beach in the state of Delaware, Biden's lawyer Bob Bauer said afterwards.
The search was coordinated between investigators and lawyers, with the full support of the President. According to media reports, the Federal Police FBI was also involved.
In the past few weeks, confidential documents from earlier years in Biden's government have repeatedly appeared in Biden's private rooms - in offices in Washington and his house in Wilmington, also in the garage there. For the President of the Democrats, the revelations are politically very sensitive: It is not allowed to store confidential government documents privately after leaving office. The National Archives are responsible for this in the USA. Biden was Vice President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.
Not the first search
In January, investigators had already searched Biden's home in Wilmington (also in the state of Delaware) and secured confidential documents from his time as vice president and senator.
It was announced on Tuesday that investigators had already combed the offices in Washington in November after Biden's employees had found confidential documents from his time as deputy. Biden's team did not comment on that search in Washington. Biden's home in Rehoboth Beach is likely to be the third location investigators searched.
In the White House, inquiries about possible searches at other locations referred to ongoing investigations. A spokesman also left unanswered questions about when the search in Rehoboth Beach had been planned. The president and his team were fully cooperating in the investigation, it said. Biden is giving investigators unprecedented access to his private homes. According to Biden's lawyer, the investigators took "some documents and handwritten notes" with them, which probably related to his time as vice president.
Biden and the White House are under criticism. The public only found out about some of the finds when the media reported on them. Attorney General Merrick Garland hired a special counsel to investigate the incidents. Biden had previously harshly criticized his Republican predecessor Donald Trump for taking secret documents home with him. In the meantime, documents have also been discovered on Trump's Vice Mike Pence.
The first tranche of confidential documents at Biden was discovered on November 2 – shortly before the congressional elections. The White House emphasizes that Biden's lawyers immediately informed the National Archives. However, the public only found out about it in January when the broadcaster CBS reported about it. In response to the initial discovery, Biden's associates also looked elsewhere. Nothing was found in Rehoboth Beach, it was said at the time.
Trump caused a scandal
The finding of documents is also explosive for Biden because predecessor Trump caused a scandal with a similar case in the summer. Trump kept a large volume of confidential government records at his Florida home after leaving the White House. The FBI searched the property in August and seized thousands of documents, including around 100 classified documents.
In Trump's case, Garland had also appointed an independent special investigator - also because the president who had been voted out had announced a renewed candidacy and criticized the investigation as politically motivated. Biden has stated general intention to run again in the 2024 presidential election. He has not yet made a final decision public.