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Biden says he was 'surprised' to learn of classified documents at his former office

Said documents reportedly contained classified intelligence materials pertaining to Ukraine, Iran and the UK.

Published: January 10, 2023 6:56pm

Updated: January 10, 2023 7:27pm

President Joe Biden indicated that he had been unaware of the classified documents found at his former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.

After repeatedly maligning former President Donald Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, Biden appeared to have ink on his face when reports emerged that the National Archives had asked the Department of Justice to investigate his own handling of classified materials found at his private office.

Said documents reportedly contained classified intelligence materials pertaining to Ukraine, Iran and the UK. A lawyer cleaning out the office discovered them in a locked closet while preparing the room for the next occupant. Biden has denied wrongdoing and has asserted that his administration is cooperating with the investigation. He further contended that he was unaware of any classified materials at the Penn Biden Center. His lawyers turned the materials over to the National Archives upon discovery.

"I was surprised to learn there were any government records that were taken there to that office," he told reporters at a news conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, per CNN. Biden was participating in a summit with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.

Trump is facing his own FBI and DOJ investigations after the National Archives asked the government to investigate missing classified materials. To that end, the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Aug. 8, 2022. He has maligned both the investigation and the ongoing legal battle as acts of political persecution.

Speaking to Just the News on Tuesday, Trump contended it was likely Biden knew of the materials and that the revelation "totally changes" the ongoing investigations against him.

"I think they knew long before Nov. 2, I think he knew probably right from the beginning," Trump said. "And I think a lot of it had to do with Ukraine, because that was the papers he kept. And no, I think they knew about this for a long time and they didn't do anything about it."

The DOJ has appointed a special counsel to handle its affairs involving Trump, but Attorney General Merrick Garland has thus far declined to do so for matters pertaining to Biden.

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