President Joe Biden was interviewed by the Department of Justice over the weekend in relation to the storage of classified documents after leaving the vice presidency in 2017.
It’s a scandal that may sound familiar. Former president Donald Trump is under investigation for a similar offense, for which he could face a maximum sentence of nearly 500 years. Biden, however, has not been charged with any crime.
On Sunday and Monday, President Biden met with Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead the investigation. The probe relates to documents found in an office used by Biden after leaving the White House in 2017, but before launching his presidential campaign.
The Joe Biden Interviews Over The Weekend
“As we have said from the beginning, the President and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can, consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation,” said Biden spokesman Ian Sams. “We would refer other questions to the Justice Department at this time.”
The Case In Question
Following his tenure as vice president, classified documents were discovered in an office used by Biden. One batch of records was found on November 2 last year at the Penn Biden Center, a think-tank founded in Washington D.C. A second batch was found in the garage of the President’s Wilmington home on December 20, with a third document discovered in the house a month later.
Biden said the documents were immediately handed over to the DoJ and the National Archives, the latter of which being the storage location for documents under a previous administration. He added that he did not know that the documents were there, and the details of them have not been released.
Classified documents range from mundane material to extremely sensitive information, and there’s been no formal announcement regarding exactly what Biden held at his home and office. However, sources told CNN and the New York Times that the first set of 10 classified documents included briefing materials from foreign nations, which had been mixed in with non-classified material including details about the funeral of his son, Beau Biden. Some of the papers were reportedly marked top secret.
The conclusion of the interview implies that the investigation may be nearing its end. Unlike his predecessor, who is due to stand trial in Miami next May, Biden has not yet been charged with a criminal offense. Trump has repeatedly claimed he was entitled to retain the documents and denies any wrongdoing.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.