National Archives says it retrieved nine boxes of Biden records from ex-personal attorney’s Boston office

Washington — The National Archives and Records Administration retrieved nine boxes from a Boston law office belonging to President Joe Biden’s former personal attorney in early November. The number of boxes was previously unknown. 

The boxes had been transported from a Washington, D.C., think tank to lawyer Pat Moore’s firm, the Archives revealed in a letter to senators. The National Archives says it has not reviewed the material. Documents from Mr. Biden’s time as vice president are required to be turned over to the Archives.

Debra Steidel Wall, acting archivist of the U.S., revealed that the Archives was informed that Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys began their review of materials stored at the Penn Biden Center in October, which is earlier than was previously known. Archives staff picked up the nine boxes of Mr. Biden’s vice presidential records from Moore’s office on Nov. 9, at the request of the Justice Department, Wall said. 

Wall’s letter was a response to a Feb. 24 request for information from GOP Sens. Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley about the Archives’ knowledge of documents from Mr. Biden’s time as vice president that were moved from the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington to Moore’s law office.  

Wall told the Republican senators that the Archives first learned that Mr. Biden’s records were transported to Boston on Nov. 3, one day after the president’s personal attorney notified the agency that roughly 10 documents marked classified were discovered in Mr. Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center.

In response to a question about how many records were moved from the think tank to Moore’s law firm, Wall wrote that “NARA staff retrieved nine boxes from Mr. Moore’s Boston office.”

 A spokesperson for Mr. Biden’s personal attorneys declined comment.  

Moore was part of Mr. Biden’s personal legal team handling the documents from his tenure as vice president that were at the Penn Biden Center and his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, two sources told CBS News in January. But Moore began working for the Massachusetts attorney general’s office in mid-January, and is no longer representing the president, Molly Levinson, a spokeswoman for Bob Bauer, Mr. Biden’s longtime attorney, told CBS News.

The president has come under scrutiny from congressional Republicans after records bearing classification markings were discovered at the Penn Biden Center and his Wilmington home. 

The White House first confirmed in early January that the roughly 10 documents dating back to the Obama administration were found at Mr. Biden’s office at the think tank, and then disclosed a “small number” were discovered in the garage and private library at the president’s Wilmington residence.

A subsequent consensual search by the FBI of the Wilmington house on Jan. 20 turned up six additional items with classified markings, according to Mr. Biden’s lawyers and the Justice Department. The FBI also searched Mr. Biden’s vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on Feb. 1, with his consent, and did not find any documents.

Attorney General Merrick Garland in January appointed a special counsel, Robert Hur, to oversee a Justice Department investigation into the documents with classified markings that were in Mr. Biden’s possession.

In addition to the questions from Johnson, of Wisconsin, and Grassley, of Iowa, the GOP-led House Judiciary and Oversight Committees have also been probing Mr. Biden’s handling of government documents.

House Republicans on Tuesday called for the Biden administration to disclose more information about the records marked classified found in the president’s former private office at the Penn Biden Center.

Mr. Biden has insisted that he did not know he had classified material in his possession and that he is cooperating with the Justice Department.