President Joe Biden’s lawyers discovered about 10 documents with classified markings at Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 2. The lawyers immediately notified the Justice Department, according to White House spokesman Ian Sams.
The think tank office was used from mid-2017 until the beginning of Biden’s 2020 campaign. Those documents were located in a box in a locked closet. All of the documents are from when Biden served as vice president to former President Barack Obama.
The discovery set off an initial inquiry led by Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch. In response, Biden’s legal team searched other properties for additional documents and discovered more classified documents at the President’s Delaware home and again turned the documents over to authorities, The New York Post reported.
Richard Sauber, a special counsel to the president, said in a statement that Biden’s lawyers searched his residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth, Delaware, where files from his former vice presidential office may have been shipped in 2017, CBS News reported.
Sauber said a “small number” of additional Obama-Biden administration records marked classified were discovered in a garage in the president’s Wilmington home, and another single document was discovered among material in an adjacent room. No files were found in the president’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach.
Professor Jonathan Turley disagrees with this chain of command.
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“The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the DOJ declined to have the FBI conduct searches and instead allowed uncleared private counsel to do so. If true, it is a level of accommodation that would make a Kardashian blush,” he tweeted.
A nationally recognized legal scholar, Turley has written more than three dozen academic articles on a range of topics, from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history, according to his website.
In addition to teaching, Turley is still a practicing attorney and has worked on a number of high-profile cases.
In 2011, Professor Turley filed a challenge to the Libyan War on behalf of ten members of Congress. In November 2014, he was lead counsel to the United States House of Representatives in its constitutional challenge to changes ordered by President Obama to the Affordable Care Act.
In regard to the Biden papers, Turley seems to be questioning why the government didn’t take the lead in the search for classified documents.
The Justice Department decided against having FBI agents oversee a search for classified documents conducted by Biden’s lawyers at his Delaware homes, partly because Biden’s team was cooperating with the DOJ’s investigation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The DOJ even gave Biden’s attorneys permission to search the president’s Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach residences in Delaware for sensitive documents and notify the department if any were found.
The DOJ has opened an inquiry into why and how they got there.
President Joe Biden gestures as he claims some corporations pay zero dollars in taxes while speaking at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Day breakfast, Jan. 16, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)