White House Failed to Disclose FBI Search of Biden Think Tank, Raising Questions about ‘Transparency’ Claims
FBI agents searched President Biden’s Washington, D.C., think tank in mid-November, earlier than previously disclosed, calling into question the White House’s insistence that it has been transparent about the ongoing investigation into Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The search, first reported by CBS News, occurred after Biden’s personal lawyers discovered a trove of classified documents in the president’s former office on November 2.
“We have been transparent in the last couple of days, remember there is an ongoing process and we have spoken when it is appropriate,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters just days after the new broke that classified documents had been discovered in the Penn Biden Center.
Biden used the offices at the Penn Biden Center after serving as vice-president and stored classified documents from his tenure there.
The new timeline suggests that the Biden administration waited until after the midterm elections to disclose the first cache of classified documents.
Since the first discovery of classified documents in November, Biden lawyers unearthed another cache at the president’s personal residence in Wilmington, Del., in late December.
The revelations prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint Robert Hur as special counsel in early January to oversee the investigation into \ Biden’s handling of classified documents.
“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Garland said in announcing the appointment.
In November 2022, Garland appointed Jack Smith, a former Justice Department prosecutor, to investigate Donald Trump for similar matters pertaining to the mishandling of classified documents as well as unlawful interference with the transfer of power.
Republican concerns over the handling of the investigation into former president Donald Trump led Garland to address skeptics following his 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 said.
According to the Presidential Records Act, all documents from the president and vice-president must be transferred to the National Archives following the end of an administration.
Last Tuesday, classified documents were found at former vice-president Mike Pence’s Indiana residence. The discovery was made by Pence staffers who contacted the National Archives.