The White House on Saturday disclosed that President Biden’s aides discovered five additional pages of classified documents at his Wilmington, Delaware residence this week, adding to the tally previously owned up to by the administration.
The additional pages were discovered after the White House issued a statement on Thursday disclosing that Mr. Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small number” of additional materials with classified markings. All but one of those documents was said to be found in a storage space in Mr. Biden’s garage.
Another document, which consisted of one page, the White House said on Thursday, was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room.
But in a statement on Saturday, Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said he discovered the additional documents Thursday evening while he was at the residence to facilitate the transfer of the previously disclosed classified document to the Justice Department.
“While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages,” Mr. Sauber said. “The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.”
Mr. Sauber said Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys, who do not have active security clearances, suspended any further search of the space where the first document was found per a process coordinated with the National Archives and Department of Justice.
In keeping with that agreed-upon process, the attorneys notified the Justice Department and made arrangements for the Justice Department to take possession of the documents.
Mr. Sauber, who does have a security clearance, traveled to Wilmington on Thursday evening to facilitate the transfers.
“The President’s lawyers have acted immediately and voluntarily to provide the Penn Biden documents to the Archives and the Wilmington documents to DOJ,” Mr. Sauber said. “We have now publicly released specific details about the documents identified, how they were identified, and where they were found.”
Republicans, though, are not buying the White House’s claims of transparency.
“Either @JoeBiden is an absolute hypocrite or completely clueless. Probably both,” Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, wrote on Twitter following the latest disclosure by the White House. “We need to get to the bottom of this. How long has he had these…6+ years? Time for accountability.”
Saturday’s disclosure adds to the slow trickle of details from the White House as Mr. Biden’s classified document saga unfolds.
The White House confirmed on Monday that classified government documents dating back to Mr. Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama White House were discovered at a Washington office building that he used when he was an honorary professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The documents were discovered on Nov. 2, just six days before the midterm elections. The matter only became public when uncovered by CBS News.
The stash of approximately 10 classified documents found at the office building included material marked top secret, a federal official familiar with the investigation told CBS.
Top secret material could pose “exceptionally grave damage” to national security if leaked.
A second batch of classified documents was later found in Mr. Biden’s Wilmington garage by White House aides. Mr. Biden’s staff notified the Justice Department that it had discovered the second batch on Dec. 20.
Following the White House’s disclosure of the second batch, Mr. Biden suggested they were secure because they were in the same garage as his cherished 1967 Corvette Stingray.
“My Corvette was in a locked garage, OK? So it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday.
Federal law strictly forbids the removal or retention of classified documents or materials outside secured locations without authorization, which Mr. Biden as vice president in the Obama White House would not have had.
House Republicans, now in the majority, have pledged an investigation into Mr. Biden’s mishandling of classified material. Attorney General Merrick Garland has also appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the matter, noting the “extraordinary” nature of the situation.
Mr. Garland appointed Robert K. Hur, a former U.S. attorney in Maryland who was appointed by President Trump, as special counsel to look into the document situation.
“I am confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed manner in accordance with the highest traditions of this department,” Mr. Garland said.
Mr. Hur is the second special counsel appointed by Mr. Garland in the past three months. In November, he named Jack Smith to oversee the investigations into Mr. Trump, including whether he illegally stored classified documents at his residence and office at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
In a written statement, Mr. Hur vowed to investigate with “fair, impartial and dispassionate judgment.”
“I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly without fear or favor and will honor the trust placed in me to perform this service,” he said.
– Jeff Mordock contributed to this story