The initial statement issued by White House attorney Richard Sauber on Monday to address the CBS News report on classified documents being discovered at the Penn Biden Center on November 2, 2022, failed to disclose that additional classified documents were found at Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home on December 20 by Biden’s personal attorneys. It was not until Thursday morning that Sauber announced that a second set of classified documents were found in Biden’s garage and was confirmed by Biden in a contentious colloquy with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
Sauber’s initial statement on Monday only spoke about the Penn Center discovery:
When Biden spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Mexico City, he only spoke about the Penn Center documents, failing to disclose the Corvette garage discovery last month (excerpt via White House transcript):
Well, let me get rid of the easy one first. People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously.
When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — a secure office in the Capitol, when I — the four years after being Vice President, I was a professor at Penn.
They found some documents in a box — you know, a locked cabinet, or at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives, turned them over to the Archives. And I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office.
But I don’t know what’s in the documents. I’ve — my lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes — they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives. And we’re cooperating fully — cooperating fully with the review, and — which I hope will be finished soon, and will be more detail at that time.
The first question, now I forgot. (Laughter.) Your first question related to —
Attorney General Merrick Garland, in his announcement Thursday of his appointment of a special counsel to investigate Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, gave a timeline of discoveries that showed Biden and his lawyer had failed to disclose the second discovery.
“Timeline, per @Kevinliptakcnn: Nov. 4 — National Archives IG informed DOJ that WH notified Archives documents found at Penn Biden Center
Nov. 9 — FBI launches assessment to understand whether classified material mishandled Nov 14 — Garland asked Lausch to oversee investigation Dec. 20 – Biden lawyers inform Lausch other docs discovered in Wilmington garage. FBI goes to secure documents Jan. 5 – Garland briefed on results of initial probe and advised a special counsel warranted Jan. 12 – Biden lawyers call to say additional classified document identified at Wilmington residence”
Sauber statement on the Corvette garage discovery failed to disclose they were found last month.
Sauber was appointed by Biden last year to the role of Special Counsel to the President to help with investigations in anticipation of a Republican takeover of Congress (excerpt via CNN):
The White House has hired Richard Sauber to assist in the Biden administration’s response to potential future investigations should Republicans win back majorities in Congress in the midterm elections, officials confirm to CNN.
Sauber, currently the top lawyer at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is expected to begin at the White House in the next few weeks with the title “special counsel to the president.”
“Dick is an excellent lawyer who brings decades of experience that will be a valuable asset,” Ian Sams, a White House counsel spokesperson, told CNN. “As we have since the transition, we are ensuring the White House is prepared for the issues we are facing or will face in the future, and we have built and continue to build a strong legal team to conduct our work and serve the public and the President.”
Sauber’s statement on Garland’s appointment of a special counsel included an admission that Biden mishandled documents, stating they were “inadvertently misplaced.”
Biden’s handling of his classified documents scandal violates the rule for presidential crisis management by Clinton veteran Lanny Danny Davis: “Tell it all, tell it early, tell it yourself.”