20 January 2023
President Biden on Thursday downplayed a classified documents probe after materials were found in his home and a former office, telling reporters there’s “nothing there” when asked if the investigation is complete.
“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets, I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing, there’s no there there,” Biden said.
Biden reiterated much of what the White House has done consistently this week, which was that the documents were immediately turned over to the National Archives and the Justice Department and that the president and his team are fully cooperating with the investigation.
“We found a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place,” he said, adding that he’s “looking forward to getting this resolved quickly.”
The president, however, much like his press secretary at times, criticized the reporter for asking the question, noting that he was in California and had just surveyed damage from the recent severe storms in the state. The question followed short remarks from the president, alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) about plans for the federal government to help California recover.
“You know, I’ll answer the question but here’s the deal,” Biden told the reporter. “What, quite frankly, bugs me is that we have a serious problem here we’re talking about, we’re talking about what’s going on and the American people don’t quite understand why you don’t ask me questions about that.”
Biden and his administration have come under fire over the way it handled the revelations, made initially by a CBS News report, that documents were discovered on Nov. 2 at a Washington, D.C. office that once belonged to Biden in between his time as vice president and president. Over the course of the nearly past two weeks, the White House has confirmed that two more batches of documents turned up a Biden’s Wilmington home, including materials officials said were found in his garage.
The president has said that he was surprised about the discovery of the documents in his old office and has not asked what they pertain to, on advice from his attorneys.
White House officials have been adamant that they are limited in how much they can say about the discovery of the documents, what’s in them and when the president was informed of the situation, citing an ongoing Justice Department investigation and the appointment of a special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland.