Biden aides find second batch of classified documents just days after initial revelation of improper storage of Obama-era records

In a bombshell of irony on Monday, it was revealed that classified documents from the Obama administration, which should have been securely stored with the National Archives, were discovered by personal attorneys for President Joe Biden in an office space he previously used after serving as vice president.

The president’s defenders initially sought to downplay that revelation as an isolated mistake, only for it to then be revealed on Wednesday that a second batch of classified documents had been found stored in a separate location, the Washington Examiner reported.

The irony comes from the fact that President Biden’s administration has been exceptionally heavy-handed in its treatment of former President Donald Trump as being presumed guilty of doing virtually the same thing — failing to turn presidential records over to the National Archives at the conclusion of his tenure — that has included grand jury subpoenas, an FBI raid, a criminal investigation, and the threat of federal prosecution.

More classified documents found

NBC News reported Wednesday that aides for President Biden have spent the past two months engaged in an “exhaustive” but quiet search of locations linked to Biden for any classified documents or presidential records that should have been turned over to the National Archives in 2017.

That search was prompted by the discovery of classified documents in early November in the Washington D.C. office of the Penn Biden Center that the former vice president had used from 2018 to 2020.

At least one additional batch of classified documents has now been found, though there are no details yet on how many documents were recovered, what level of classification they held, where they were located, if any other batches are believed to still be somewhere out there, and if the search remained ongoing or had been completed.

Matter already under federal investigation

The initial discovery of inappropriately stored classified documents was made on November 2 and the National Archives was immediately notified to take possession of those materials, though the public was not informed until CBS News first reported on the matter on Monday.

Once alerted about the document discovery, the National Archives then issued a referral to the Justice Department, and CBS News noted that Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned U.S. Attorney John Lausch, a holdover from the Trump administration, to conduct a preliminary investigation into the matter with assistance from the FBI.

Neither CBS nor NBC reported on what the purported contents of the classified documents were, but a CNN report on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources said to be familiar with the matter, said the documents included “U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom” that were dated from 2013 through 2016 and were found mixed together with other nonclassified presidential records in several boxes in a locked closet.

The sources further asserted that U.S. Attorney Lausch had already completed his preliminary probe and had briefed AG Garland on multiple occasions, meaning that it is now up to Garland to decide whether to move forward with a more thorough investigation that could potentially reveal criminal violations.

Nobody knows anything

During a press conference Tuesday in Mexico City, President Biden was asked about the initial revelation one day prior of the classified documents at the Penn Biden Center. The president insisted in response that he takes “classified documents and classified information seriously.”

He went on to proclaim that he was “surprised” by the discovery of “any government records” in the formerly used office, said that he didn’t know what was in the documents and that his attorneys advised him to not even ask, and that “we’re cooperating fully — cooperating fully with the review, and — which I hope will be finished soon, and will be more detail at that time.”

During Wednesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked repeatedly about the discovery of the classified documents, but she fervently refused to provide any additional information beyond what had already been revealed by the president and his attorneys.

Meanwhile, CNN noted that the new House Republican majority wasted no time in letting it be known that this issue would be closely scrutinized with committee investigations, and more than a few made it clear that Biden ought to face the exact same standards of accountability that have been applied to Trump for virtually the same thing.

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