Biden classified documents: US intel materials related to Ukraine, Iran and UK found in Biden’s private office, source tells CNN
Among the items from Joe Biden’s time as vice president discovered in a private office last fall are 10 classified documents, including US intelligence memos and briefing materials covering topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom, according to a source familiar with this issue.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has received a preliminary report on the investigation into the documents, a law enforcement source said, and now faces the critical decision of how to proceed, including whether to open a full criminal investigation.
According to the source, the documents were dated between 2013 and 2016. They were found in three or four boxes that also contained unclassified letters that fall under the Presidential Records Act.
The vast majority of items in the office contained personal documents of the Biden family, including materials about Beau Biden’s funeral arrangements and letters of condolence, the source told CNN. It is not clear whether the boxes of classified documents contained personal material.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed the U.S. attorney in Chicago, a holdover from the Trump administration, to investigate the case, CNN previously reported. Garland made the move after receiving a referral from the National Archives and Records Administration.
The documents were leaked on Nov. 2, just six days before the midterm elections, but the case only became public on Monday due to news reports.
The source told CNN that a personal attorney for Biden was closing the downtown D.C. office that Biden used as part of his work with the University of Pennsylvania. The lawyer saw a manila folder that was labeled “personal,” opened the envelope, and noticed that inside were classified documents. The attorney sealed the envelope and called NARA, the source said.
After contacting NARA, Biden’s team returned several boxes very carefully, even though many of the boxes contained personal material, the source said.
The U.S. attorney in Chicago, John Lausch Jr., has already completed the initial part of his investigation and provided Garland with his preliminary findings, a law enforcement source said.
That means Garland must now decide how to proceed. Garland was also personally involved in some of the key decision-making related to the Trump dossier investigation and the decision to send the FBI in to search Mar-a-Lago.
Garland chose Lausch to conduct the investigation into the Biden documents because he is one of two remaining Trump-appointed U.S. attorneys and to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest because he was not appointed by Biden, people briefed on the matter said. .
In an awkward moment Monday, Garland sat alongside Biden at a diplomatic summit in Mexico as reporters shouted questions about the investigation. Both men ignored the questions.
Lausch was one of the rare Trump-term holders who was not told to resign after Biden’s inauguration in 2021, and Illinois’ two Democratic senators supported the decision to keep him in his post in part because he was dealing with Michael’s politically sensitive investigation. Madigan, the former speaker of the Illinois Democratic House, is accused of corruption.
CLARIFICATION: The story has been updated to specify where the classified documents were found in Biden’s office.
This story has been updated with additional details.