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Biden says he has 'no regrets' on how he's handled classified documents discovery

President Biden visited Aptos, Calif., Thursday, to tour damage caused by the recent series of storms. He told reporters he has no regrets about how he and his lawyers have handled the discovery and disclosure of classified documents found at his former office and personal residence.
Susan Walsh
/
AP
President Biden visited Aptos, Calif., Thursday, to tour damage caused by the recent series of storms. He told reporters he has no regrets about how he and his lawyers have handled the discovery and disclosure of classified documents found at his former office and personal residence.

President Biden told reporters Thursday that he's cooperating with investigators and he has "no regrets" about how he and his team have handled the discovery and disclosure of classified documents from his time as vice president during Obama administration.

"I think you're going to find there's nothing there. I have no regrets," Biden told reporters while visiting storm-ravaged parts of California.

It was his first public comment since the Justice Department assigned a special counsel to investigate how the documents ended up in Biden's private residence and a former office.

The president said he is following the advice of his lawyers and that, "There's no 'there' there."

"We found a handful of documents that were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the [National] Archives and the Justice Department," Biden said. "We're fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly."

A series of classified documents were discovered by Biden's attorneys on four separate occasions between November 2022, just ahead of the midterms, and last weekend.

The first set of documents were found in early November at Biden's former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C., and a second set was found about a month and a half later in Biden's garage at his home in Wilmington, Del.

After news broke about the documents on Jan. 9, Biden's lawyers once again searched his Wilmington home as well as his residence at Rehoboth Beach, finding more documents on two occasions in Wilmington.

Biden has repeatedly told reporters that he takes classified materials seriously and that he and his team have been cooperating with the DOJ and National Archives since they were first discovered before the 2022 midterms.

White House lawyer Richard Sauber previously said in a statement that, "We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake."

The timing of discovery and delayed disclosure of the documents by the Biden administration has Republicans in an uproar, many calling the president a hypocrite for chastising former-President Donald Trump — who is currently under investigation for mishandling documents and other charges — after hundreds of pages of classified documents were found in an FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Dustin Jones
Dustin Jones is a reporter for NPR's digital news desk. He mainly covers breaking news, but enjoys working on long-form narrative pieces.