- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2023

President Biden said Tuesday that he was “surprised” to learn that classified government documents from his time as vice president were discovered in his former office.

Speaking in Mexico at the North American Leaders’ Summit, Mr. Biden addressed the controversy for the first time, assuring reporters that he takes classified documents seriously and would not jeopardize American security.

Mr. Biden didn’t say when he was first told of the discovery in November, but he said he was caught off guard by the revelation.

“I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office,” Mr. Biden said.

He said he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know what’s in the papers held in his office for several years now.

“But I don’t know what’s in the documents. My lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents there were and they turned over the boxes to the [National] Archives, and we are cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon,” he said.

Mr. Biden said the handling of the matter by his legal team, the National Archives and the Justice Department should increase confidence in the process.

His attorneys “found some documents in a box,” Mr. Biden said. “And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box and they did what they should have done. They immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives.”

The White House on Monday confirmed the discovery of classified documents in a Washington office used by Mr. Biden after his time as vice president.

The documents were found in a box in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center, where Mr. Biden served as an honorary professor after he left the Obama administration. 

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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