Biden responds to classified doc scandal: 'There's no there there'

An attorney for President Joe Biden in November discovered a batch of classified materials last November while clearing out the president's office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.

Updated: January 20, 2023 - 10:22am

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President Joe Biden has dismissed criticism of his storage of classified documents with an apparently cheeky reference to a notorious phrase from former FBI Agent Peter Strzok which indicated that federal agents investigating former President Donald Trump knew there was little substance to warrant their activities.

Speaking in California on Thursday, Biden addressed the controversy, saying "there's no there there," according to the Associated Press. The phrasing of the remark closely echoes a May 19, 2017 text from Strzok to Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair, saying "There's no big there there." Page, in a closed-door hearing, later confirmed that the text was a reference to the weak quality of the federal government's Russia collusion investigation.

That text was sent two days after the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign's alleged collusion with the Russian government. Both Page and Strzok worked for the FBI on that investigation.

An attorney for President Joe Biden discovered a batch of classified materials last November while clearing out the president's office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington. Those documents reportedly contained intelligence materials on Iran, Ukraine and the UK.

A subsequent batch was later discovered at Biden's Delaware home. The revelations have undercut the White House's tough stance on former President Donald Trump's own storage of classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago estate and prompted criticism of the Department of Justice's disparate handling of the episodes.

Attorney General Merrick Garland this month appointed special counsel Robert Hur to handle the DOJ investigation into the Biden matter amid mounting pressure from Republicans to handle both investigations equally. He previously tapped Jack Smith to handle the Trump affair.

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