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Authorities find no classified documents at Biden beach home

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US law enforcement on February 1, 2023, searched President Joe Biden's beach house in Delaware, his lawyer said, in the latest stage of an operation to track down improperly stored classified documents./AFP
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Feb 02, 2023 - 02:54 AM

WASHINGTON — US law enforcement did not find any classified documents at Joe Biden’s Delaware beach house during a search Wednesday, the president’s lawyer said, in the latest stage of an operation to track down improperly stored secret papers.

The announcement came approximately three hours after the president’s personal attorney said agents from the Department of Justice would search the house in Rehoboth.

“No documents with classified markings were found,” attorney Bob Bauer said in a statement.

Agents did however take “for further review some materials and handwritten notes that appear to relate to his time as vice president,” he added.

The search, which Bauer said in an earlier statement was done “with the president’s full support and cooperation,” followed similar searches that turned up small numbers of documents in Biden’s home in Wilmington and a former office space in Washington.

The drip of revelations has been a drag on Biden as he celebrates the midpoint in his first term as president and reportedly prepares to announce he’s running for a second.

A special counsel has been appointed by the Justice Department to run an independent investigation, similar to another special counsel overseeing the probe of former president Donald Trump’s huge stash of classified documents discovered at his home in Florida.

According to the White House, Biden’s problem is down to accidental mistakes in storing documents from a decade ago when he was vice president under Barack Obama.

Unlike Trump, who resisted handing over hundreds of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021, Biden says he has cooperated with the authorities ever since the discovery of a handful of classified documents in a former office he used at a think tank in Washington.

A subsequent search by the FBI of his main private home in Wilmington turned up more documents. The Rehoboth property, which he uses much less often, is now the third location to be inspected by the authorities.

In his statement, Bauer said the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched the Rehoboth search without “advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate.”

“The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate.”

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