President Joe Biden admitted Thursday that a second batch of classified material was found in the garage of one of his residences in Delaware after it was revealed this week that similar documents were found at his former office in Washington, DC.
The latest revelation has landed Biden in hot water and drawn the frustration of his Democratic Party and scrutiny of the Republican Party.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said, “Congress has to investigate this,” as he drew a parallel to the government’s investigation of former President Donald Trump after hundreds of classified documents were found at his residence in Florida.
But on Thursday, Biden attempted to bat down criticism and said: “People know I take documents of classified material seriously.”
In a brief statement to the press, the US president said he and his team were “cooperating fully and completely” with the Justice Department’s review.
The US attorney general later announced that he would appoint a special counsel to investigate whether President Joe Biden mishandled classified government documents.
Merrick Garland said former US attorney in Maryland, Robert Hur, would be appointed.
Biden acknowledged that lawyers inspected other places where documents from his time as vice president were stored, which is when they discovered the second batch.
The first batch was found on Nov. 2, 2022, two days before the midterm elections. However, the White House did not publicize this information until this week.
These documents found at Biden’s former office were reported to include US intel memos and briefing materials on Ukraine, Iran and the UK.
“We’re gonna see all of this unfold,” Biden told reporters, suggesting that he would be forthcoming about what happened.
On Wednesday, reporters pressed the White House for more details about the initial batch of documents found.
But Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre repeatedly refused to provide information other than: “We are going to be limited in what we can say here.”
Asked when the president found out about the first set of classified documents, which he has said he does not know what they contain, Jean-Pierre would not say. But she said the president’s aides “did the right thing” and turned over the classified documents when they were discovered.
Democrats have found themselves with a surprise headache shortly after Republicans took control of the House and Democrats maintained a slimmer-than-expected Senate majority.
Republicans have called for an immediate review and damage assessment of the classified documents found.