Biden on classified docs discovery: ‘There’s no there there’
By ZEKE MILLER and COLLEEN LONG Associated Press
APTOS, Calif. (AP) — A frustrated President Joe Biden said Thursday there is “no there there” when persistently questioned about the discovery of classified documents and official records at his home and former office,
“We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” Biden said to reporters who questioned him during a tour of the damage from storms in California. “We immediately turned them over to the Archives and the Justice Department.”
Biden said he was “fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there,” he said. “There’s no there there.”
The White House has disclosed that Biden attorneys found classified documents and official records on four separate occasions — on Nov. 2 at the offices of the Penn Biden Center in Washington, on Dec. 20 in the garage of the president’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, and on Nov. 11 and 12 in the president’s home library.
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Jan. 20, 2017: Biden's two terms as vice president to President Barack Obama end.
Mid-2017-2019: Biden periodically uses an office at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington.
Jan. 20, 2021: Biden is sworn in as president.
Nov. 2, 2022: Biden's personal attorneys come across Obama-Biden administration documents in a locked closet while packing files as they prepare to close out Biden's office in the Penn Biden Center. They notify the National Archives.
Nov. 3, 2022: The National Archives takes possession of the documents.
Nov. 4, 2022: The National Archives informs the Justice Department about the documents.
Nov. 8, 2022: Midterm elections.
White House via AP, File
November-December 2022: Biden's lawyers search the president's homes in Wilmington, Delaware, and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, to see if there are other documents from his vice presidency.
Nov. 9, 2022: The FBI begins an assessment of whether classified information has been mishandled.
Nov. 14, 2022: Garland assigns U.S. attorney John Lausch to look into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate the matter.
Jan. 5, 2023: Lausch advises Garland he believes that appointing a special counsel is warranted.
Jan. 9, 2023: CBS News, followed by other news organizations, reveals the discovery of the documents at the Penn Biden Center. The White House acknowledges that "a small number" of Obama-Biden administration records, including some with classified markings, were found at the center. It makes no mention of the documents found in Wilmington.
Jan. 10: 2023: Biden for the first time addresses the document issue. During a press conference in Mexico City, he says he was "surprised to learn that there were any documents" in the Penn Biden Center and doesn't know what's in them. He does not mention the documents found in Wilmington.
Jan. 11, 2023: Biden's lawyers complete their search of Biden's residences, find one additional classified document in the president's personal library in Wilmington. NBC News and other news organizations reveal a second batch of documents has been found at a location other than the Penn Wilson Center.
Jan. 12: 2023: Biden's lawyer informs Lausch that an additional classified document has been found. Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, reveals publicly for the first time that documents were found in Biden's Wilmington garage and one document was found in an adjacent room. Garland announces that he has appointed Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney in the Trump administration, to serve as special counsel.