FBI finds no classified documents at Biden’s Delaware vacation home

The FBI completed a search of President Joe Biden’s Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, home on Wednesday and found no documents with classified markings, according to Biden’s personal lawyer.

Bob Bauer, Biden’s attorney, say the FBI did take with them handwritten notes and some materials for further review. The search took three-and-a-half hours.

“The DOJ’s planned search of the President’s Rehoboth residence, conducted in coordination and cooperation with the President’s attorneys, has concluded,” Bauer said, adding the search occurred from 8:30 a.m. until noon ET.

“No documents with classified markings were found,” he said.

Bauer said that like last month’s search of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, agents “took for further review some materials and handwritten notes that appear to relate to his time as Vice President.”

The search of Biden’s second Delaware residence was expected, but nonetheless amounted to another indication that the investigation into the president’s handling of classified material will continue dogging the White House for the coming weeks and months.

Biden and his team have consistently said there has been no wrongdoing when it comes to his handling of classified material, and the president insisted last month there is “no there there.”

Bauer confirmed earlier in the morning that investigators were searching the home. The search was planned and had the “full support and cooperation” of Biden, Bauer said.

“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,” Bauer said. “The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate.”

Reporters positioned in the coastal community observed black sport utility vehicles and sedans arriving to the home mid-morning. Biden’s personal attorneys previously searched the Rehoboth home on January 11 and found no classified documents.

The FBI search in Rehoboth marks the third known occasion that federal agents have searched properties associated with Biden to look for classified material.

The FBI previously searched Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, turning up what his lawyer described as multiple items containing classified material. That search occurred on January 20. Biden’s attorneys had previously found documents at the Wilmington home and suspended their search of a specific space where additional documents were found. It’s not clear whether the documents the FBI found were in that same space or elsewhere in the house.

The FBI also searched the Washington office of the Penn Biden Center in mid-November after Biden’s attorneys first discovered classified material in a locked closet at the think tank.

None of the searches, including Wednesday’s in Rehoboth, required a warrant, according to people familiar with the matter. Biden’s team has stressed they are cooperating with the Justice Department as its probe of the documents matter proceeds.

The White House on Wednesday would not answer whether the FBI has searched any other locations associated with Biden.

“I don’t want to speak too much to the DOJ’s practices in an ongoing investigation. I can say, you know that we have cooperated fully, the president’s personal attorneys have provided information to DOJ, we’ve addressed openly and directly the searches that were conducted: First at the president’s Wilmington residence and then today at the Rehoboth residence,” Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the White House counsel’s office, told reporters on Wednesday.

Biden purchased his home in Rehoboth after leaving the vice presidency. He and his wife occasionally spend weekends there, most recently from January 20 to 23.

The search comes on the day that the Justice Department announced special counsel Robert Hur officially began his job overseeing the investigation of Biden’s handling of classified documents. Hur takes over for US Attorney John Lausch who conducted an initial review that has since become a full blown criminal investigation.

Hur, who previously served as US attorney in Maryland, was nominated to that position by then-President Donald Trump in 2017. He served in the role until his resignation in 2021. In the job, Hur played a key role in a number of high-profile cases, including a children’s book scandal involving then-Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh that resulted in Pugh being sentenced to three years in prison.

He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to the US attorney job in 2018, and at the time he received praise from both of Maryland’s Democratic senators, who expressed confidence in his ability to handle critical issues facing the state.

Prior to his time with the DOJ, Hur was a law clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and also clerked for a federal appellate judge, Alex Kozinski.