U.S.

The White House counsel’s office says there are no visitor logs at Biden’s home in Wilmington




CNN

This was announced by the office of the White House no visitor logs which track guests coming and going President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.

House Republicans are demanding that the White House turn over all information related to lost classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president, including any visitor logs to Biden’s private residence and who may have had access to his personal office in Washington, D.C. , where the first batch of documents were discovered in early November.

“Like every president in decades of modern history, his personal residence is private,” the attorney’s office said in a statement Monday morning. “But upon taking office, President Biden restored the norm and tradition of keeping White House visitor logs, including their regular publication, after the previous administration had discontinued them.”

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the US Secret Service, said the agency also does not independently maintain visitor logs at Biden’s Wilmington home. The agency provides security for the property and screens visitors before they arrive at the Biden home, but does not maintain records of those visitors. Biden and his team determine who is allowed to enter the property.

Guglielmi said the Secret Service does not independently maintain visitor logs at the Wilmington home because it is a “private residence.”

Saturday’s announcement was the third time in less than a week that the White House was forced to admit that a batch of classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president had been discovered on private property — first an office space in Washington, D.C., and then this at Wilmington’s home.

CNN reported earlier that classified material found in Biden’s private office includes some top secret files with the designation “sensitive classified information,” which is used for highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources. Those documents include US intelligence memos and briefing materials that cover topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The White House announced over the weekend that it discovered five additional pages of classified documents at Biden’s Wilmington home on Thursday. The White House counsel’s office said it would refer all future questions to the special counsel’s office.

In a letter addressed to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein, House Oversight Committee Chairman James ComerKentucky Republican, requested more documents and communications related to searches of Biden’s homes and other locations by presidential aides for classified documents, as well as visitor logs at the president’s Wilmington home from Jan. 20, 2021, to today.

“It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at President Biden’s home for at least six years, raising questions about who may have viewed or accessed classified information,” Comer wrote in the letter. “As chief of staff, you are the head of the executive office of the president, and you have a responsibility to be transparent with the American people about these important issues related to how the White House is handling this matter.”

The White House has called Republican investigations “shamelessly hypocritical” compared to their approach to former President Donald Trump’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago in his post-White House years.

“The Republicans in the House of Representatives have no credibility. Their requests should be met with skepticism and they themselves should face the questions of why they are politicizing this issue and admit that they don’t really care about the underlying classified material,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said.

Additional searches may be launched at other locations associated with Biden for presidential records and any classified material from his time as vice president that must be returned to the federal government, multiple sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Biden’s team searched a private office in Washington, D.C., and his two homes in Delaware — three places where the White House says files may have been sent during his transition from office in 2017 — finding about 20 classified documents.

Sources say more raids are possible, but it’s unclear who will conduct them or where they will take place. While the sources did not provide other potential locations, Biden has used other office space and his family has rented another home in Northern Virginia.

So far, Biden’s private lawyers and White House special counsel Richard Sauber, who has a security clearance, have handled the searches. Justice Department officials also accompanied Sauber last week to retrieve five more pages marked classified that were found at the Wilmington house after an initial search.

But the speed of searches by Biden’s team became a source of consternation for the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago, which initially looked into the matter, a source close to the investigation told CNN.

John Lausch, the U.S. attorney there, was tapped by Attorney General Merrick Garland less than two weeks after Biden’s personal lawyers discovered the first batch of documents. Lausch did not request additional site searches after that discovery, according to the source, nor did he conduct his own searches or use a grand jury during his review. Instead, Biden’s lawyers decided to search Biden’s homes in Delaware themselves, the source said.

When that process took several weeks, Lausch did not wait for Biden’s team to finish searching the Delaware residences before recommending that Garland appoint a special counsel to take over the investigation. Lausch briefed the attorney general several times before formally recommending a special counsel on Jan. 5. Garland tapped Robert Hurr for the role last week.

Many of these details in the timeline of recent events were released by the Department of Justice. Sources tell CNN that justice officials decided to release the information after the White House released information in short and verbose terms, creating confusion and mistrust.

While some Republicans complained that Trump was treated differently because FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago last August, the move followed months of hounding by Trump’s team and refusing to hand over documents sought by The National Archives.

In addition, the Trump investigation is looking at potential obstruction, in part because after the former president’s lawyers certified that all classified documents had been returned, investigators obtained evidence showing that was not the case and surveillance video of boxes being moved from a storage room . Trump’s team promised to guarantee.

Trump’s legal team has since hired people to conduct additional searches of Trump properties, including Trump Tower in New York and his Bedminster golf course in New Jersey.

This story has been updated with additional reports.


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