The White House acknowledged Monday it is working with the Justice Department to investigate the discovery of classified documents at President Biden’s affiliated think-tank that ‘appear to be’ from the Obama administration, when he served as vice president. However, little information about the discovery is known.
Here are 10 unanswered questions on the classified documents that already has some Republicans calling for a deeper investigation:
How many documents were discovered?
CBS News reported it had two sources familiar with a discovery of ‘roughly ten’ classified documents at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. The White House, in its Monday statement, acknowledged a discovery of ‘a small number of documents with classified markings.’ No specific number was disclosed.
When and how did they get there?
The White House said the documents were discovered by Biden’s attorneys on Nov. 2, 2022, as they cleared office space at the Penn Biden Center. There is no information so far regarding who brought the documents to that site.
In which office were the classified documents discovered?
The White House did not release any information pertaining to which office at the Penn Biden Center contained the documents. The classified documents were in a folder within a box full of other non-classified material, CBS reported.
President Biden worked at the center’s offices from mid-2017 through the start of the 2020 campaign, according to the White House. The center, during this time period, was run largely by former Obama administration officials who then left for the Biden administration in 2021. Steve Richetti, a White House counselor to Biden, was the center’s managing director in 2019. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was managing director in 2018.
What’s in the documents, and what is their level of classification?
The White House did not reveal the contents or level of classification of the discovered documents; neither did the two leakers to CBS, although they did note that the documents do not contain nuclear secrets.
Did Biden or any other senior officials know that the documents had been transported to the Penn Biden Center?
In its statement, The White House did not mention if any officials were aware of the presence of the classified documents at the center prior to discover by the president’s counsel.
When was Biden told that the classified documents had been discovered?
The White House confirmed its counsel office notified the National Archives the day it discovered the documents, and that the National Archives took possession of the materials the next day. However, the statement does not include any mention of when Biden was informed about the discovery.
Biden ignored shouted questions about the classified documents Monday as he attended a summit in Mexico City.
Biden previously claimed he had no prior knowledge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, to take possession of classified documents in August.
Why was the public not told when they were discovered in November?
The documents were discovered six days before the 2022 midterm election. However, the White House did not release any information on the discovery until Monday, when CBS published details it received from sources familiar with the investigation process.
Why did the National Archives not know about the missing docs?
Neither the White House nor National Archives have confirmed whether it was known the discovered classified documents were missing.
How will the Biden administration ensure the investigation is not tainted — will there be a special prosecutor?
The White House confirmed it is cooperating with the DOJ in its investigation on the discovered classified documents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland chose a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney to investigate the classified documents, a source with knowledge of the matter told Fox News Digital.
Under the Trump administration, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate potential Russian collusion in the 2016 election. It is unclear if the Biden administration will do the same for information on the classified documents.
Is there any plan to investigate whether there are additional classified documents at the Penn Biden Center — and would this involve the FBI?
It remains unclear if the FBI conducted, or will conduct, a raid of the Penn Biden Center as it did with Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The White House did not acknowledge the possibility of additional classified documents at the center.