Federal Officials Have Yet to Review Nine Boxes of Biden Documents for Classified Material
Officials from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have revealed that nine boxes of documents were collected at the Boston office of President Joe Biden’s attorney but have not yet been reviewed for classified material.
Responding to an inquiry from Senators Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the federal agency revealed Tuesday that Biden’s personal counsel, Pat Moore, moved the boxes from the Penn Biden Center to his law firm in Boston prior to the discovery of classified documents at the Washington, D.C., think tank.
In a letter to the lawmakers, Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall revealed that the agency learned that the nine boxes of documents had moved to Boston on November 3, 2022, one day after classified documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center.
“When NARA contacted President Biden’s personal counsel on November 3, 2022, to arrange to pick up boxes from the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., they informed NARA that Mr. Moore had moved other boxes from the Penn Biden Center to Mr. Moore’s law firm in Boston,” the letter states.
The letter states that te boxes have not been reviewed for classified information but does not provide a justification for the delay.
“NARA has not reviewed the contents of the boxes found at Mr. Moore’s Boston office,” Wall states.
It wasn’t until November 9, nearly a full week after NARA first learned of the Boston document cache, that the agency dispatched federal officials to secure the documents and transport them to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
The day before the files were transferred to Pat Moore’s office, aides of the president discovered at least ten classified documents at the Penn Biden Center, where Biden had office space between 2017 and 2019 when he was vice-president. The finding prompted FBI officials to search the premises shortly thereafter.
“We have been transparent in the last couple of days, remember there is an ongoing process and we have spoken when it is appropriate,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters after news broke that classified documents had been discovered in the Penn Biden Center.
However, reporting by CBS News in January 2023 found that the FBI had visited the think tank earlier than the White House had previously disclosed. The new timeline of events suggested that the Biden administration may have waited until after Election Day 2022 to publicize the first cache of classified documents.
Additional troves of classified documents have since been discovered at the president’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., in late December.
In January, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Robert Hur to investigate President Biden’s potential mishandling of classified documents.
“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Garland said announcing the appointment of Hur.
“I strongly believe that the normal processes of this department can handle all investigations with integrity…I strongly believe that the normal processes of this department can handle all investigations with integrity. But under the regulations, the extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Garland added.
The Presidential Records Act requires all presidential and vice-presidential records to be transferred to the National Archives at the end of an administration.