The Documents Found in Joe Biden’s Homes
By Cael Javier
Image provided by Reuters
In the U.S., the Presidential Records Act controls all the rules on presidential records and classified files of the White House. It established that presidential records are the property of the U.S. government. They must be preserved and are not the president’s private property. Before this law was passed, presidents who were leaving office just took their documents with them when they left the White House. It was considered their personal property. With this law, the records became the property of the U.S. government, and the National Archives oversee them. The law applies to the president, vice president, and some portions of the Executive Office of the President, including the National Security Council and Council of Economic Advisers. It lays out the requirements for maintaining and securing the information during and after a presidency.
Starting in November 2022, documents started turning up at Joe Biden’s former D.C. house. On November 2nd, Biden’s lawyers found classified documents in an office that Biden used after he left the vice presidency. A few days later, the National Archives inspector-general contacted a prosecutor at the Justice Department to let them know that classified documents were found at the office. The FBI then began an assessment to get better knowledge of whether the information was mishandled. On November 14th, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch Jr. to conduct an initial investigation. The FBI conducted a search of the former Biden office. It is unsure whether any new records were recovered. The search was mutual, and a warrant was not needed. About a month later, more documents were found in Biden’s garage in Delaware. On December 20th, Biden’s personal counsel informed Lausch about this information.
On January 9th, 2023, the White House revealed that a small number of classified documents were found on November 2nd in a locked closet in Biden’s former office. The next day, Biden stated that he was shocked the documents were found and that he did not know what they consisted of. The White House then revealed that more documents were found in Joe Biden’s house in Wilmington, Delaware. Garland appointed the former justice official Robert Hur as special counsel to further investigate the handling of the documents. On January 20th, the FBI conducted a thorough search of Biden’s home in Wilmington, and they found six more classified items. This search did not require a warrant. On February 1st, the FBI searched Biden’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Biden’s lawyers reported that there were not any classified records recovered. The investigators took materials and handwritten notes that might be related to Biden’s time as vice president.
There are still updates on this situation today. The documents should be kept safe with the U.S. government and the National Archives. Joe Biden has not faced accusations of destroying documents, unlike Donald Trump. Trump has been accused of destroying documents while in office. If he were convicted of destroying documents, he would not be eligible to run for president again. Biden’s case is different. The Act requires evidence that his actions were unlawful.