Lauren C. Moye, FISM News
The National Archives was concerned enough about the presence of classified documents in Biden’s office building that they took custody of a separate batch of documents shipped to Boston by the president’s attorney.
The papers were sent to attorney Pat Moore’s Boston office before Biden’s legal team first discovered classified documents, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP News). While the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) did not believe there were additional classified documents among the Boston batch, they still felt a need to take possession of the documents.
“Pat, we would like to pick up the boxes that are in your Boston office and move them to the JFK Library. Would it be possible to do that tomorrow?” NARA General Counsel Gary Stern wrote in a Nov. 8, 2022 email to Moore.
The email was included in a release by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request initiated by AP News and over 25 other entities.
According to an anonymous AP News source, Moore and the other attorneys had been packing up papers at the Penn Biden Center that might be of use to a future presidential library. This source said the papers sent to Boston contained mostly personal details about the Biden family.
The lawyers uncovered the first classified document on Nov. 2, although the public did not learn of this discovery until early January.
On Nov. 7, Stern warned Moore to “ensure that the boxes in your office in Boston remain secure in a locked space and are not accessed by anyone.”
The email was also included in the FOIA release. NARA allowed the attorneys to continue searching the office for other classified documents, and the majority of the other emails released involved the logistics of NARA taking custody of discovered documents.
A TIMELINE OF DOCUMENT DISCOVERIES
In August 2022, an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate ignited controversy. Their mission was to recover classified documents in Trump’s home. The raid was highly publicized as Democrats demonized Trump for possession of the documents.
When it was learned that Biden had also been caught with classified documents from his years as a Vice President but that the news had been kept under wraps for two months, the controversy was reignited as Republicans complained of a “two-tier justice system.”
Since the initial Penn-Biden Center discovery, classified documents have also been located at Biden’s Delaware home on Dec. 20, Jan. 10, Jan. 11, and, most recently, Jan. 20.
The growing anger and criticism from Republicans prompted former Vice President Mike Pence to request a search of his own home in late January. These documents were collected by the FBI on Jan. 22.
As the NARA collections grew from three different White House administrations, the record keepers sent a request to the last six administrations to search for presidential documents.
NEW PENCE DOCUMENT FOUND FRIDAY
On Friday, the FBI discovered one more document bearing the classified mark at Pence’s home in Indiana.
According to Pence’s adviser Devin O’Malley, FBI agents completed a “thorough and unrestricted search of five hours.” At the end of this time, agents removed “once document with classified markings and six additional pages without such markings that were not discovered in the initial review by the vice president’s counsel.”
The FBI announced their intention to search Pence’s home last week.
O’Malley also reported that Pence has encouraged his personal legal team to fully cooperate with the investigation.