WASHINGTON – The FBI searched President Joe Biden’s former Washington, D.C. office after the president’s lawyers initially alerted the National Archives about the discovery of classified documents at the location, a person familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
No search warrant was issued in connection with the previously undisclosed action, which involved the consent of the president’s legal team, said the source who is not authorized to comment publicly on the investigation.
The search was conducted in November, after lawyers discovered an initial batch of documents Nov. 2, at the think tank office that Biden used after serving as vice president.
The search was first reported by CBS News.
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The White House and Biden’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The FBI declined comment.
It was not clear whether additional documents were recovered at the time of the FBI office search.
The building that housed office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the Penn Biden Center, is seen at the corner of Constitution and Louisiana Avenue NW, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. Potentially classified documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022, in a “locked closet” in the office, according to special counsel to the president Richard Sauber.
Earlier this month, the president’s lawyers disclosed that the FBI had searched the Biden family home in Wilmington, Delaware, recovering classified material related to six items dating to Biden’s time as vice president and as a U.S. senator.
The home search, which also did not require a search warrant, followed the discovery of a separate batch of classified documents by Biden’s lawyers at the home.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to examine Biden’s handling of classified documents. In addition, the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Accountability launched its own investigation.
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Garland appointed a separate special counsel in November to investigate former President Donald Trump’s retention of documents after leaving the White House.
While both cases involve the handling of sensitive government documents, the Trump inquiry also is examining Trump’s alleged attempts to obstruct the government’s repeated efforts to retrieve the records from his Florida estate.
When those recovery efforts proved unsuccessful, the FBI obtained a search warrant and scoured Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort on Aug. 8, when agents seized more than 100 additional classified documents among thousands of government records.
Since the disclosures involving Trump and Biden, unsecured classified documents also were found at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
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A Pence representative alerted the National Archives earlier this month to a handful of records, which the FBI has retrieved.
Pence’s lawyer characterized the documents as “a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration.” He said they were found Jan. 16 and placed in a secure safe until they could be returned to proper authorities.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden documents: FBI searched president’s former DC office in November