Biden says he was 'surprised to learn' of the discovery of classified documents in former office

WASHINGTON — President Biden used a Tuesday press conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada to address the revelation that a dozen classified documents had been stored at his former office at a University of Pennsylvania policy center.

The documents are from his time as vice president in Barack Obama’s administration, a position he held from 2009 until 2017.

Speaking after a meeting with Justin Trudeau of Canada and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Biden said he was “surprised to learn” that classified documents had been stored at the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C.

Attorneys for the president discovered those documents on Nov. 2 and notified the National Archives and Records Administration, which by law has custodianship of presidential papers.

Joe Biden
President Biden on Tuesday during a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Mexico City. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images)

The revelation has caused a furor among conservatives, who instantly drew comparison to last summer’s federal raid at former President Donald Trump’s resort and residence in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago, which was executed to recover several boxes of classified materials.

Speaking from Mexico City, Biden said that his attorneys “did what they should have done” and were “cooperating fully” with the National Archives.

“I don’t know what’s in the documents,” Biden said. “My lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were.”

The classified documents reportedly included briefings on foreign countries.