The FBI raids the University of Delaware and questions a university official about Biden’s classified documents

Washington – The FBI conducted two searches of the University of Delaware as part of the Justice Department’s investigation into the handling of documents with secret markings from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president, three US officials confirmed to CBS News.

The searches were conducted over the past month, with the first taking place in late January and the second in early February, according to a source familiar with the investigation. FBI agents removed several boxes from the premises. The removed documents had no secret markings but contained materials that required closer scrutiny, the source told CBS News.

Justice Department officials as well as the FBI also interviewed a University of Delaware archivist who handled Mr. Biden’s material, the source said.

The University of Delaware, Mr. Biden’s alma mater, houses an institute named after the president, and the school’s library houses a collection of his senatorial papers and records. CBS News’ attempt to reach the collection’s curator was unsuccessful Wednesday night.

The university was the fourth location linked to the president to be searched by federal investigators.

CNN was the first to report on the FBI raids at the University of Delaware.

Attorneys for the president first discovered classified Obama-era documents in early November at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank used by Mr. Biden before he declared his candidacy for president in 2019. The FBI also conducted searches at Mr. Biden’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

The White House, a spokesman for President Biden’s personal attorney and a spokesman for the University of Delaware declined to comment, referring inquiries to the Justice Department. The Justice Department also declined to comment.

In November, one of Biden’s personal attorneys, Patrick Moore, discovered about 10 sensitively marked documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC. Some were marked top secret. The President’s attorneys notified the National Archives of the revelation, which prompted the Archives to escalate the matter to the Justice Department. The FBI conducted a consensual search of the think tank this month.

The following month, on December 20, Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys discovered additional records marked secret at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, which were turned over to the FBI for review.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former US Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel on January 12, 2023 to investigate the matter. On the same day, President Biden’s personal attorneys alerted the Justice Department to another classified document discovered at his Willmington residence. On January 20, the FBI conducted a 13-hour search of the President’s home in Wilmington.

According to the President’s attorney, six items consisting of documents with non-disclosure markings and surrounding materials were eventually collected, some from the President’s tenure in the Senate and some from his tenure as Vice President.

An FBI search of the President’s home in Rehoboth Beach earlier this month turned up no sensitive records.

University of Delaware representative Peter Bothum told CBS News on Jan. 16, “No vice presidential materials were sent to or held at the university.” At the time, he said no searches were being conducted at the university for documents had been.

Revelations of sensitive records from Mr Biden’s time as vice president came amid an ongoing federal investigation into the handling of classified documents kept by former President Donald Trump after his presidency.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is investigating allegations that confidential records were mishandled during Trump’s departure from the White House and that people associated with Trump may have obstructed the investigation. In August, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida home after a year-long legal battle to recover all missing documents.

Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence had classified documents after leaving office. Earlier this month, his lawyers uncovered records with secret markings and turned them over to the Justice Department for review. Last week, another classified record was uncovered during an FBI search at Pence’s home.

Like the Biden searches, the search at Pence’s home was consensual.

Last week, the National Archives released emails showing documents in the Boston office of Mr. Biden’s attorney had been turned over to archive officials in November.

Gillian Morley contributed to the coverage.

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