President Joe Biden Says He Has ‘No Regrets’ Over Hiding Classified Docs until after the Midterm Elections

President Joe Biden said Thursday that he has “no regrets” about keeping the discovery of improperly stored classified documents dating back to his days as vice president under President Barack Obama under cover until after the November midterms. 

A stash of classified documents was located November 2 — six days prior to the election — inside the Penn Biden Center D.C. office the president used after he left the Obama administration. However, the finding was kept secret until CBS News broke the story on January 9. 

During a storm damage tour in California, Biden scolded a reporter who asked him about the controversy. 

“What quite frankly bugs me is that we have a serious problem here we’re talking about,” said Biden. “We’re talking about what’s going on, and the American people don’t quite understand why you don’t ask me questions about that.”

The president then asked the reporter to repeat her question about any regrets about concealing the discovery from the public until after the election before launching into another rebuke.

“Hang on, OK? Look, as we found — we found a handful of documents that were failed, were filed in the wrong place. We immediately turned them over to the [National] Archives and the Justice Department. We’re fully cooperating and looking forward to getting this resolved quickly,” said the president.

“I think you’re gonna find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets. I’m following what the lawyers have told me they want me to do. That’s exactly what we’re doing. There’s no there there. Thank you.”

Last week, the controversy over the classified documents intensified with reports of more sensitive documents surfacing that were found on December 20 in boxes next to Biden’s Corvette in the garage of his Wilmington, Delaware mansion. 

Additional searches last week revealed further documents located inside the home. 

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur as special counsel on January 12 to determine if the president or people tied to him illegally mishandled the high-security documents — a situation that could unsettle Biden’s presidency as special counsels have often expanded their focus to other matters.

Administration concealed the found documents

The administration concealed the story as Democrats, including Biden, blasted former President Donald Trump for allegedly mishandling records removed from the White House and taken to his Mar-a-Lago home when he left office in 2021.

In an interview on CBS News’ 60 Minutes on September 18, the president said former President Trump had been “totally irresponsible” for holding onto the documents after leaving office in January 2021.

“I thought, ‘What data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?’ By that, I mean names of people who helped. …And it is just totally irresponsible,” said Biden.

The former president’s Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate was raided on August 8 to remove documents after Trump insisted he had the authority to retain some of the files. 

Various details remain unclear about President Biden’s handling of documents, including the number of records located and whether individuals other than Biden had access to them. 

The president’s son, Hunter Biden, who listed the president’s Wilmington home as his residence on a 2018 background check form, frequently introduced the elder Biden to international business associates during his tenure as vice president and in the years following.

The president’s attorneys initially found ten classified documents on November 2 while cleaning out his former office, located at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. Reportedly, some records were marked “top secret” and deal with Ukraine and Iran. 

The White House has declined to answer questions about the documents, which frustrated reporters and led to strained clashes in the briefing room of the White House.

Last week, Biden defended his choice to store classified documents from his days as vice president in his garage, which lacked Secret Service protection for a period after his vice presidency. 

“My Corvette is in a locked garage, OK?” Biden told reporters. “So, it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street.”