FBI searches Biden’s vacation home; no classified documents
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI searched President Joe Biden's vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Wednesday without turning up any classified documents, the latest turn in an extraordinary series of searches of his and his predecessor's properties.
Agents did take some handwritten notes and other materials relating to Biden's time as vice president for review, just as they had when they searched his Wilmington home last month where they also found classified items.
Investigators searched his former office at a Washington think tank that bears his name in November, but it isn't clear whether they took anything.
The Biden searches, conducted with his blessing, have come as investigators work to determine how classified information from his time as a senator and vice president came to wind up in his home and former office, and whether any mishandling involved criminal intent or was merely a mistake in a city where unauthorised treatment of classified documents is not unheard-of.
Law enforcement searches of property are a routine part of criminal probes, but there is nothing ordinary about the FBI scouring a sitting president's home, even as Biden and his aides have sought to contrast his actions with those of his predecessor.
Former President Donald Trump is facing a special counsel criminal investigation into his retention of several hundred classified documents and other government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida — and his resistance to giving them up, which led to an FBI warrant and search to seize them last August.
On Wednesday, Biden's personal attorney Bob Bauer said FBI agents authorised by the Department of Justice spent three and a half hours searching the president's beach home and that “no documents with classified markings were found.”
In a statement disclosing the search, Bauer sought to portray Biden and his team as fully transparent and cooperative. He described the search as “planned” and “a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate.”
Investigators in the Biden case have already conducted interviews, including of Biden's former executive assistant who helped oversee the packing of boxes that went to the Penn Biden Center. It is not yet clear if and when the Justice Department might look to question Biden himself.
The Bidens purchased their Rehoboth Beach home, which overlooks a state park adjacent to the beach, in June 2017, months after he left the vice presidency.
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