WASHINGTON — The Biden administration remained silent Tuesday on whether the president would approve a search of his Senate archives at the University of Delaware after even more classified documents were discovered Friday at his Wilmington home.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called for a search on Monday after the FBI’s Friday hunt for Biden’s home revealed sensitive material from his Senate years in addition to even more documents from his deputy. presidency.
The Post asked Jean-Pierre during his regular briefing for a response to Cruz’s call to look into the roughly 1,850 boxes of Biden Senate documents and 415 gigabytes of electronic files that Biden gave in 2012 to his undergraduate alma mater.
“Regarding the documents and this ongoing court case, I refer you to the White House Counsel’s Office,” Jean-Pierre replied.
The press secretary used variations of the same answer to deflect questions from other reporters about the documents controversy, including a question about whether the White House has any objection to sharing Secret Service records of visitors from Biden to Wilmington with the House Oversight Committee.
The Post also reiterated a request from other reporters that the White House make an official available who can answer questions about the scandal from the briefing room podium.
A timeline of how the Biden classified documents scandal unfolded
- September 18, 2022 – Biden calls Trump “totally irresponsible” for storing top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago
- November 2, 2022 – Biden lawyers find classified documents hidden at the Penn Biden Center in Washington
- November 4, 2022 – The National Archives contacts the Department of Justice, indicating that the documents were found and secured at an Archives facility
- November 8, 2022 – Democrats perform better than expected in the midterm elections, losing a net of just nine seats in the House of Representatives and gaining a seat in the Senate
- November 9, 2022 – FBI begins “assessment” to determine if classified material was mishandled in violation of federal law
- November 14, 2022 – Garland directs Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch to conduct an initial investigation to determine whether Garland should appoint a special counsel
- November 18, 2022 – Garland announces special counsel in Trump case
- Dec. 20, 2022 — Biden’s personal attorney tells Lausch that more classified documents were found in the garage of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del.
- January 5, 2022 – Lausch advises Garland to appoint a special advocate
- January 9, 2023 – The public is informed for the first time about mishandled Biden documents
- January 10, 2023 – Biden makes first public statement on Penn documents
- January 11, 2023 — Reported classified documents were found in the second location
- Morning of January 12, 2023 – Biden’s attorney tells Lausch of additional classified document found at Wilmington home
- Morning of January 12, 2023 – The White House and Biden confirm documents found in a garage
- Afternoon of January 12, 2023 – Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden documents
“Absolutely, OK,” said Jean-Pierre noncommittally before calling another reporter.
A spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment on the University of Delaware files and information about visitors to Biden’s home, s’ he stored secret files in his garage next to his Corvette and others inside the house. himself.
The University of Delaware press office also did not immediately respond to questions from The Post about whether a search of Biden’s records has been reviewed for classified documents and whether the university has anyone in its personnel with the relevant security clearances.
Jean-Pierre’s well-worn hijackings on specific details come as special counsel Robert Hur investigates whether Biden or others in his orbit unlawfully mishandled classified records. Another special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of cases following an Aug. 8 FBI raid on his resort town of Mar-a-Lago.
Biden’s attorneys originally reportedly found 10 classified documents Nov. 2 as they cleared out his glamorous former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. Some of them would have been marked “top secret” and would relate to Iran and Ukraine. Additional classified documents were found Dec. 20 in the Wilmington garage, followed by a series of additional discoveries at home.
Jean-Pierre deflected a reporter’s question Tuesday about a possible search of Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Biden’s attorneys have made similar claims regarding ongoing searches in Wilmington before the FBI found any more documents.
At one point in the briefing, Peter Doocy of PKB News asked, “After the appointment of a special counsel, but before the FBI searched, President Biden visited his home in Wilmington. What was he doing in there?
“I would refer you to the White House council,” replied Jean-Pierre.
Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer, said in a statement on Saturday that the FBI on Friday “took possession of documents it believed as part of its investigation, including six items consisting of documents with classification marks and surrounding materials, some of which came from the president’s service in the Senate and some of which came from his tenure as vice president.
Cruz said on Monday: “The next step in this scandal will be, OK, if Biden’s Senate documents include any classified documents outside the classified parameters – which is illegal – how many additional classified documents are illegally in his Senate documents ?”
“During the 2020 campaign, there was a concerted media effort to try to gain access to these documents. In particular, allegations of sexual harassment were made against Joe Biden, and the media wanted to review the documents on these allegations sexual harassment. The University of Delaware said, no, they’re not releasing the documents to anyone until two years after Biden retired from public life,” he added.
“I am asking the Department of Justice, the FBI at this time to examine the 1,850 boxes of these Senate archives to see how many additional classified documents are in these archives,” Cruz continued. “The answer should be none. But given Biden’s model, we should have no confidence that there aren’t multiple classified documents in those 1,850 boxes of Senate filings.