President Joe Biden said he was “surprised” to find out that his lawyers had discovered classified documents at a private office in Washington.
What Happened: The president’s comments came a day after the White House said Biden’s lawyers had found documents dating from his time as Vice-President, at a private office associated with the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, reported the New York Times.
“After I was briefed about the discovery, I was surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken to that office,” said Biden at a press conference on Tuesday in Mexico, according to the report.
Biden reportedly said, “I don’t know what’s in the documents."
The documents included briefing materials on foreign countries from the time Biden was VP, two people familiar with the matter told the Times.
Why It Matters: Biden said he takes “classified documents seriously” and that his team immediately contacted the National Archives to hand over the materials, reported the Times.
The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly reviewing the documents to determine how to go ahead. The review will help Attorney General Merrick Garland decide whether a special counsel, like the one appointed in the case of former President Donald Trump, needs to be appointed to investigate the matter.
On Monday, Trump alleged that China was given information after news of the documents’ discovery was made public. He also said that a VP cannot declassify documents, unlike a president.
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