Biden: "No regrets" on mishandling classified documents
US President Joe Biden breaks his silence on the mishandling of classified documents, stressing that files were immediately handed over to the National Archive upon discovery.
US President Joe Biden says he has "no regrets" over the mishandling of classified records that were recently found in his private office and garage, dating back to his time as vice president.
The president commented on the disclosure of the classified documents during a Thursday news conference in California. This marks the first time Biden spoke on the matter since an investigation into the records was opened by a special counsel assigned by the US Justice Department (DOJ).
"We found a handful of documents that were filed in the wrong place, we immediately turned them over to the [National] Archives and Justice Department," Biden said on Thursday.
He added that the administration is looking to resolve the issue, affirming "I have no regrets."
The US government publicly acknowledged earlier this month that it undertook an investigation into Biden's mishandling of classified materials after lawyers discovered sensitive documents at the president's office and residence.
The findings revealed that the series of documents that had been found by Biden aides on different occasions date back to just before the US midterm elections and last weekend.
The first batch of classified documents was found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC, and the second at his Delaware home. Biden was then blasted for the second batch because the files were "kept safe" in the garage.
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Moreover, the US National Archives refuse to disclose what the classified documents contain, unwilling to release the details to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee until after consulting with the DOJ.
Earlier, Biden said that he was "surprised" to learn that classified documents were taken to his personal office after he left the vice presidency and that he has no idea what is in the records. Meanwhile, Democratic and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill demanded more information about the discovery that prompted a Justice Department investigation.
“I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there are any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden said during a news conference in Mexico City on January 11.
This is what you need to know
The classified documents were first discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, a downtown Washington institute founded by Biden after leaving the White House in 2017.
On November 2, Biden's personal lawyers discovered the records and immediately turned them over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Earlier this month, the White House acknowledged its cooperation with the Justice Department.
The classified documents reportedly included memos and briefing materials on Ukraine, Iran, and the UK, which could lead up to the opening of a criminal investigation.
Despite the fact that the records were discovered two months ago, it wasn't until recently that the White House publicly admitted that lawyers had uncovered classified documents and turned them over to the Archives.
Biden was described as a hypocrite by the Republicans, as he earlier bashed former US President Donald Trump for storing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.