The White House said Monday that Friday’s Justice Department search of President Joe Biden’s home was carried out following a “voluntary and prior offer” made by the president’s personal lawyers.
The White House legal counsel’s office also said it was reviewing recent requests for documents from the Republican-led House Oversight Committee, pledging to respect lawmakers’ oversight, but warning that such cooperation may be limited by executive privilege and the ongoing Justice Department investigation.
In a further search of Biden’s home in Wilmington, the Justice Department found six more items, including classified documents, the president’s attorney said in a statement late Saturday. It was the latest in a series of classified documents found at Biden’s home in Wilmington and the Washington office of the University of Pennsylvania think tank.
According to attorney Bob Bauer, some of the newly released classified documents and “related documents” date back to Biden’s time in the Senate, where he represented Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Bauer said the other documents date back to his tenure. of Biden as Vice President of the Obama administration from 2009 to 2017.
“The president’s personal attorneys have made a voluntary, prior offer to the Department of Justice for access to the house,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said.
Sams declined to elaborate on the contents of the material found in Wilmington. According to an administration official, Biden was briefed throughout this process.
The search raises legal and political issues for Biden, who insists that the earlier discovery of classified documents at his home and former office would be deemed irrelevant.
Sams also said the White House sent a letter to James Comer, chairman of the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee, in response to inquiries about the contents of classified documents found at the home and former Biden’s office.
Comer sent a letter this month asking to see visitor logs, documents turned over to the Justice Department and a list of people who had access to the Biden think tank’s office at the University of Pennsylvania.
The White House said it sought to “reconcile legitimate oversight interests within the Committee’s purview while respecting the separation of powers and the constitutional and statutory obligations of the executive.”
A spokesperson for the oversight committee said the White House proposal undermines Biden’s public promise of transparency in his administration’s actions.
“This is not ‘legitimate’ transparency from President Biden, who once said he would have the most transparent administration in history,” a spokesperson for the committee said.