All eyes are on White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre after additional classified documents were found at President Biden’s Delaware home more than a week after she said a search of the residence was “complete.”
On Friday, officials from the Justice Department seized “six items consisting of documents with classification markings” from the Wilmington estate nine days after the press secretary strongly suggested no additional documents would be found.
“On Jan. 20, 2023, the FBI executed a planned, consensual search of the President’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware,” Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney to U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, told Fox News Saturday.
Biden’s personal attorney Bob Bauer later confirmed the “DOJ had full access to the President’s home, including personally handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades.”
The new discovery seems to come at odds with what Jean-Pierre previously said from the White House podium.
On Jan. 12, Jean-Pierre told reporters during a press conference that a search of President Biden’s Wilmington residence was “completed” and that the matter is “in the hands of the special counsel” before telling reporters they “should assume it has been completed, yes.”
Later in the press conference, Karine-Pierre reaffirmed “the search is complete.”
But, additional documents were found later that night and again on Friday.
On Jan. 13, a day after Jean-Pierre’s initial “complete” remark, White House special counsel Richard Sauber said more classified documents were found Thursday evening.
“Because I have a security clearance, I went to Wilmington Thursday evening to facilitate providing the document the president’s personal counsel found on Wednesday to the Justice Department. While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me, five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages. The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them,” Sauber said.
A week later, on Jan. 20, the additional documents were found when DOJ officials, the FBI, and Biden’s personal lawyers conducted another search of the home.
The FBI did not allow former President Trump’s attorneys to participate during their raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate, where classified documents were also found.
Friday’s search started in the morning at 9:45 a.m. and concluded Friday night around 10:30 p.m.
Bauer said Saturday evening the search covered “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.”
“At the outset of this matter, the President directed his personal attorneys to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice,” Bauer said. “Accordingly, having previously identified and reported to DOJ a small number of documents with classification markings at the President’s Wilmington home, and in the interest of moving the process forward as expeditiously as possible, we offered to provide prompt access to his home to allow DOJ to conduct a search of the entire premises for potential vice-presidential records and potential classified material.”
There has been no further clarity on the issue or apparent inconsistencies from the White House as Jean-Pierre refused to answer questions about whether additional classified documents would be found.
Earlier this week, she brushed off several questions and referred reporters to the White House special counsel. Attorney General Merrick Garland named an independent special counsel to probe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified documents on Jan. 12, 2023.
“I’m just going to continue to be prudent here,” Jean-Pierre said. “I’m going to let this ongoing review that is happening, this legal process that is happening and let that process continue under the special counsel. I’m not going to comment from here.”
“One of the things that we have said for the last two years when it comes to the Department of Justice, when it comes to legal matters, when it comes to legal issues, we have been very clear that we are not going to comment. We are not going to politically interfere,” she added Tuesday, Jan. 17. “I will say that we are consistent with what we have said on cooperating fully with the Department of Justice on this issue, and we will continue to cooperate fully with the special counsel.”
Later in the same press conference, Jean-Pierre defended herself by saying she has been “forthcoming” with all information available to her and her office.
More than a dozen classified documents have been found at the Biden home.
Additional classified documents were found at Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center in November.
Fox News’ Adam Sabes, Brooke Singman, Patrick Ward and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.