FBI Search of Joe Biden's Delaware Home Is Huge Gift to Republicans

Another one of President Joe Biden's properties was investigated Wednesday by the FBI as part of what his attorney called a "planned search" related to the potential uncovering of additional classified documents.

The search of his Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, vacation home follows one on January 12 in which agents discovered classified documents inside the garage of the president's Wilmington, Delaware, home. More documents were found inside the Wilmington residence about a week later.

"Under DOJ's standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate," Biden's personal attorney, Bob Bauer, said in a statement provided to the Associated Press. "The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate. We will have further information at the conclusion of today's search."

The first finding of potential mishandling of classified documents occurred in November at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington, D.C., reportedly believed to have been kept from Biden's days as vice president.

President Joe Biden Comer Jordan Classified Documents
President Joe Biden gives a speech on infrastructure at the West Side Yard on January 31, 2023, in New York City. In inset, Representative James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, delivers remarks during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on February 1, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The FBI conducted another search on Wednesday of Biden's Rehoboth Beach property in Delaware for the possible mishandling of classified documents. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images; Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the time of the Wilmington document uncovering had no answers as to why the home was searched, why documents were in his garage in the first place, or how they got there.

Biden said he treats "classified materials seriously" and said they were inside a "locked" garage. The same day, Attorney General Merrick Garland named U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate.

Republicans continue to ask questions about the origin of the documents, as well as what they claim is the White House not being truthful.

"The White House said they'd be 'transparent' about Joe Biden's classified documents scandal," tweeted Republican Representative Jim Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. "So why haven't they?"

Jordan referred to a CBS News report on Tuesday that said the FBI conducted a search of the Penn Biden Center after Biden's attorney located 10 documents from his time as vice president. The search was conducted without the use of a warrant and in cooperation with Biden's "representatives," the report added.

It remains unclear whether the FBI uncovered any classified documents or other relevant materials in that search.

"Our whole fear about the documents in Joe Biden's possession was that maybe some of his family members who have been involved in influence peddling with our adversaries were using those classified documents inappropriately," GOP Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

"If they had any access to any documents and if they viewed any documents, that's illegal. Certainly, if they were trying to peddle those documents for money, that's criminal."

In a statement to Newsweek, Comer said National Archives General Counsel Gary Stern confirmed that the Biden Administration prohibited his committee from releasing a public statement on the Penn-Biden Center classified documents and limited NARA's ability to testify about all facts related to President Biden's mishandling of classified documents.

"When will this scavenger hunt for President Biden's classified documents end?" Comer said. "Not only does this situation remain a serious national security issue, but the White House and Justice Department continue to conceal information from Congress and the American people."

The president's son, Hunter Biden, has been at the center of such controversies and is being investigated by Comer's committee regarding allegedly compromising business ties.

Comer tweeted Tuesday that the National Archives told his committee that someone suppressed a statement from going public in regard to the documents discovered at the think tank. Only two entities have such authority: the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Senator Lindsey Graham came to the defense of his longtime friend, saying recently that he would "be shocked if there's anything sinister" in relation to the president's documents.

"The FBI has searched his office and two homes, but what does that really mean?" attorney Andrew Lieb told Newsweek. "A whole lot of nothing because he can't be charged with a crime even if he committed one.

"Pursuant to a Justice Department memo from 1974, which was reaffirmed in 2000 and again during the Trump Administration, a sitting president cannot be indicted or charged....It means that we have an antiquated government with sloppy officials running it."

Attorney and former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told Newsweek that a "planned search" is atypical, adding that the investigation is not part of a typical case.

"The Department Justice can't charge Biden while he is president, and they probably won't when he is out of office because Trump and Pence also mishandled classified documents," Rahmani said. "Advanced notice of a search is an extraordinary courtesy that is not afforded most people.

"Biden gets that luxury because is president, he and his lawyers are cooperating, and the Department [of Justice] cares more about retrieving the documents than actually prosecuting anyone."

Newsweek reached out to the White House press office and DOJ for comment.

Update 02/01/23, 4:42 p.m. ET: This story was updated with comment from Representative James Comer.