President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home was searched by the FBI on Friday, and additional classified materials were found. The search was conducted over nearly 13 hours and was voluntary, with full access given to the FBI.
Bob Bauer, Biden’s personal attorney, said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) took possession of six items that were deemed to be within the scope of their inquiry. These items included documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from Biden’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President. Additionally, DOJ took for further review handwritten notes from the Vice Presidential years.
This federal search marks an escalation of the probe into Biden’s handling of classified documents, which some will inevitably compare to the investigation of former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified materials. The FBI obtained a search warrant five months ago to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. Trump was also under investigation by a special counsel led by Jack Smith, for his handling of classified material at Mar-a-Lago.
The search was overseen by U.S. Attorney John Lausch, who was appointed by Trump and has been handling the initial review of the DOJ’s probe. Lausch did not before recommending a special counsel, Robert Hur, who was appointed just over a week ago.
Biden’s legal team and the White House Counsel’s Office were present during the search. Bauer said that investigators had full access to Biden’s home, including handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders dating back decades. Neither Biden nor first lady Dr. Jill Biden were present during the search.
The search did not require a search warrant or subpoena. It was done with the consent of Biden’s attorneys, and the DOJ requested that the search not be made public in advance. Biden has been cooperative and is committed to handling the situation responsibly.
Biden said on Thursday during a tour of storm damage in California that they found a “small number” of records with classified markings in the garage of his Wilmington home, and that “you’re going to find there’s nothing there.” He also said he had no regrets.
The FBI search shows that federal investigators are taking swift action in the investigation of classified documents found in Biden’s possession. It remains to be seen what further steps will be taken in the investigation.