President Biden Addresses Recently Found Documents

January 11, 2023
Front of the White House

I was briefed about this discovery and was surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office.

President Joe Biden addressing government records that his lawyers found in his former office.

What To Know: The documents – about 10 of them – date to when President Biden was serving as Vice President. The papers were reportedly discovered on November 2 and delivered to the National Archives the next morning. The Justice Department is reviewing the discovery. The House Intelligence Committee has requested a "damage assessment." The exact information included in the documents has not been made public.

Why Does This Matter: The President and any elected official who has access to government records has strict rules on how to keep/store them.

Here's the transcript from the press conference where this answer took place:

PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ll answer first?

Well, let me get rid of the easy one first. People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously.

When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — a secure office in the Capitol, when I — the four years after being Vice President, I was a professor at Penn.

They found some documents in a box — you know, a locked cabinet, or at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives. And I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office.

But I don’t know what’s in the documents. I’ve — my lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes — they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives. And we’re cooperating fully — cooperating fully with the review, and — which I hope will be finished soon, and will be more detail at that time.

For more: A backgrounder on the storage, removal, and investigation into President Trump's classified documents obtained in August at Mar-a-Lago (SmartHER News)

Biden ‘surprised’ government records found at old office (The Associated Press)

Biden 'surprised' about finding of classified documents, vows cooperation (Reuters)

by Jenna Lee,