FBI searches Biden's Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, house as part of classified documents probe
The FBI searched President Joe Biden's Delaware beach home Wednesday, as part of an ongoing inquiry into the handling of classified documents, though no additional records bearing government classification were recovered.
Biden attorney Bob Bauer confirmed the action, saying the Rehoboth Beach search was planned with "the president's full support and cooperation" and lasted 3½ hours, concluding at noon.
Bauer said authorities did take "for further review some materials and handwritten notes that appear to relate to his time as Vice President.”
Citing the Justice Department's desire for "operational security and integrity," Bauer said there was no public notice of the action, which was consensual and did not require a warrant.
"The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate," Bauer said.
Complete timeline of Biden documents investigation: From Washington, D.C., office to Rehoboth Beach house
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Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House Counsel's Office, declined to say whether Biden would speak with investigators if asked, saying only that the president has been "fully cooperative."
Sams also declined to address whether other locations linked to the president have been searched.
Asked whether the White House knew the content of the handwritten notes that were taken in Wednesday's search, Sams said: "That's a good question. I'm not going to be able to speak to the underlying content."
He referred other questions about the nature and number of notes to the Justice Department.
The FBI and Justice Department have declined to comment.
The beach home marks the third known location the FBI has searched in connection with the discovery of unsecured classified documents related to Biden.
In November, agents searched a former Washington, D.C., office used by Biden after leaving the vice presidency. That followed the discovery of a first batch of documents by the president's lawyers.
Last month, the FBI conducted a daylong search of Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware, recovering a small number of classified items, after lawyers found a second batch of records at the home.
The Rehoboth Beach search comes a day after a person familiar with the investigation confirmed that federal authorities had searched Biden's former Washington office.
It was not immediately clear whether any additional records were recovered during that search.
FBI also searched Biden office in November: FBI searched Biden's former DC office after first classified document discovery
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to examine Biden's handling of classified documents. In addition, the Republican-led House Committee on Oversight and Accountability launched its own investigation.
Robert Hur, the former Justice Department official named last month to lead the Biden document inquiry, formally began his work Wednesday.
Garland appointed a separate special counsel in November to investigate former President Donald Trump's retention of documents after leaving the White House.
While both cases involve the handling of sensitive government documents, the Trump inquiry also is examining Trump's alleged attempts to obstruct the government's repeated efforts to retrieve the records from his Florida estate.
When those recovery efforts proved unsuccessful, the FBI obtained a search warrant and scoured Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort on Aug. 8, when agents seized more than 100 additional classified documents among thousands of government records.
Who is Robert Hur?: Robert Hur tapped by Merrick Garland to lead Biden documents probe. Who is he?
Since the disclosures involving Trump and Biden, unsecured classified documents also were found at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
A Pence representative alerted the National Archives last month to a handful of records, which the FBI has retrieved.
Pence’s lawyer characterized the documents as “a small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration.” He said they were found Jan. 16 and placed in a secure safe until they could be returned to proper authorities.
National Archives: After Pence, Biden, Trump revelations, Archives asks ex-presidents to check for classified documents
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, home searched by FBI in document probe