The White House is facing a growing political embarrassment as a result of the discovery of a new batch of classified government records at a second location. This discovery was made by the aides to US President Joe Biden.
The first cache was discovered in Mr Biden’s private office in Washington, DC, which he used after he left his position as vice president. (Also Read: The key Differences Between the Biden and Trump Classified Document Scandals)
The situation is being looked into by the Department of Justice in the United States.
A criminal investigation is currently being conducted regarding allegations that former President Donald Trump mishandled classified information.
On Wednesday, it was not yet clear when or where the additional batch of files was found by aides to Vice President Joe Biden.
Confidential Biden Documents
The first batch of approximately ten documents was found in November at the Penn Biden Center, which is a think tank located close to the White House. However, the documents did not become public knowledge until this week.
Reportedly contained within those papers are intelligence memos and briefing materials from the United States pertaining to Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
They are from when he was vice president under President Barack Obama, but it’s not clear why they were found in a private office he started using after that.
The law restricts access to classified documents to individuals who have been granted special authorization, and there are rules governing how these documents must be kept and stored.
After an administration has completed its term in office, it is required that all records from the White House, including those that are classified, be given to the National Archives of the United States.
The White House has not made any statements regarding the recently found batch as of yet. The discovery, on the other hand, was validated by BBC’s US partner CBS as well as other US media outlets.
Karine Jean-Pierre, who serves as the press secretary for Vice President Joe Biden, did not answer any questions about the initial cache of documents during her daily press briefing on Wednesday.
She stated that the matter was being investigated by the Department of Justice. “I’m not going to elaborate beyond what the president mentioned the other day.”
She was confronted with the question of why it took two months for the news to be made public, and she refused to explain when President Biden had been briefed on it. This revelation came a few short days before the midterm elections for the United States Congress.
President Biden stated on Tuesday that he was “surprised” when he found out about it and that he is “cooperating” with the investigation being conducted by the justice department.
The Democratic president is under increased scrutiny as a result of the newly elected Republican majority in the House of Representatives in the United States.
“Oversight and accountability are coming now that Democrats do not have one-party dominance in Washington,” James Comer, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said on Wednesday. Comer was sworn in earlier that day.
The committee has started looking into the president and his family, and they have asked the White House to hand over any documents and communications they have that are relevant to the secret files.
According to the White House, Mr Biden’s attorneys immediately notified the archives as soon as they discovered the classified files at the think tank, and the archives were able to obtain them the following morning.
FBI agents searched the home of Mr Biden’s predecessor in Florida last August and seized more than 10,000 files that Mr Trump had not turned over to the National Archives.
Before the FBI arrived at Mar-a-Lago, the Department of Justice had already issued a subpoena demanding the return of the sensitive files.
More than three hundred documents bearing classified markings, including eighteen bearing the top secret classification, were recovered by federal agents from a golf club in Palm Beach.
Mr Trump has not provided any explanation to justify their presence there, but he has claimed that he had the authority as president to declassify them, which is a claim that has been contested by legal authorities. (Also Read: Sergei Surovikin removed as commander of Ukraine invasion force)