The FBI searched President Joe Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center in mid-November, following the original discovery of classified documents on Nov. 2.
According to a United States Department of Justice official, a warrant was not used to conduct the search yet the Biden legal team was aware of the sweep, CBS News reported on Jan. 31. Biden’s legal team initially said that they handed over all classified material found by Biden's lawyers to the National Archives on Nov. 3.
Biden used the sixth-floor office space as his private office during his time as vice president following the opening of the Center in 2018, according to CBS News.
The White House and Biden’s legal team did not disclose the FBI’s mid-November search, raising questions about the transparency of the investigation into the president’s handling of classified documents.
The FBI searched Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del. on Dec. 20, during which they found six additional classified items. Unlike the mid-November FBI search of the Penn Biden Center, the White House disclosed the search of Biden’s home the following day, according to CBS News.
According to a former DOJ official, the FBI likely wanted to ensure nothing was left in the office during the initial search in early November, CNN reported. It remains unclear whether the FBI found additional classified material during the search of the Penn Biden Center, according to CBS News.
On Jan. 18, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee sent a letter to Penn President Liz Magill inquiring about foreign donations and visitors to the Center after the initial discovery of classified documents. A University spokesman denied allegations of foreign influence at the Center.
Shortly after, on Jan. 23, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting information about his role as the Center’s managing director.
All documents are currently under investigation by special counsel Robert Hur.