Speed Reads

Old News?

Biden describes classified files found at his home, office as likely 'stray papers' from 1974

President Biden has been circumspect in his comments about classified documents found in an office he used after his vice presidency and at his Delaware home, saying he has been advised against saying anything that may affect a federal investigation into the documents. Biden repeated that disclaimer in an interview with PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff on Wednesday, but he did provide some clues as to what his lawyers and the FBI found in his old files. 

"The best of my knowledge, the kind of things they picked up are things that — from 1974, stray papers," Biden said near the end of a 20-minute interview in DeForest, Wisconsin. "There may be something else, I don't know." The public assumption has been that the classified papers date from his time as vice president, from 2009 to 2017, but he was two years into his first term in the Senate in 1974. 

As to how classified documents ended up in his home and office, Biden said the people who packed up his vice presidential office "didn't do the kind of job that should've been done, to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that's there." Unlike former President Donald Trump, Biden "volunteered to open every single aperture" to the FBI, he said. When Woodruff asked about his comment that Trump was "reckless" with classified documents, Biden noted the top secret markings on the files the FBI recovered from his Mar-a-Lago office and storage room.