President Joe Biden’s legal team has uncovered additional documents containing classified information in a second location, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
The revelation came days after the president’s lawyer said Mr. Biden’s lawyers had discovered a “small number” of classified documents in his former office in Washington.
Earlier this week, the White House confirmed that the Justice Department was reviewing “a small number of classified documents” found in the office.
Lawyers for Mr. Biden discovered the documents in the offices of the Penn Biden Center and then immediately called the National Archives about the find, the White House said.
Mr. Biden has kept an office there since he left the vice-presidential post in 2017, shortly before launching his 2019 Democratic presidential campaign.
A person who spoke to the AP on Wednesday said the president’s legal team found additional classified material at a second location. They were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the sensitive issue and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The revelation that Mr Biden’s lawyers had discovered additional classified documents came hours after White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre dodged questions about Mr Biden’s handling of classified information and his handling of the West Wing opening .
She said the White House was committed to handling the matter “the right way,” pointing out that Mr. Biden’s personal lawyers immediately notified the National Archives.
But she declined to say when Mr. Biden himself had been briefed, whether there were any other classified documents potentially in other unauthorized locations, and why the White House waited more than two months to disclose the discovery of the initial batch of documents that were found 2 November, a few days before the midterm elections.
“As my legal colleagues stated and told all of you yesterday, this process continues under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice. So we will be limited in what we can say here,” Ms Jean-Pierre said.
The White House and the Justice Department declined to comment on reports of the second set of classified documents. This was first reported by NBC News.
The Justice Department is reviewing the records found at the Penn Biden Center, and Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked John Losch, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, to look into the matter, another person familiar with the matter told the AP this week.
That person also was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Mr. Lausch is one of the few U.S. attorneys who have moved on from the administration of former President Donald Trump.
Regardless of the Justice Department’s review, the revelation that Mr. Biden potentially mishandled classified or presidential documents could be a political headache for the president, who called Mr. Trump’s decision to keep hundreds of such records at his private Florida club “irresponsible.”