Intelligence materials on Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom were found in Biden’s private office

(CNN) — Among the classified documents from Joe Biden’s time as vice president discovered in a private office last fall are memos from US intelligence services and briefing materials dealing with topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom, according to a source familiar with the matter. .

A total of 10 documents with confidentiality marks were found last year in Biden’s private academic office and were dated between 2013 and 2016, according to the source.

The boxes with these classified records also contained personal documents from the Biden family, including material about Beau Biden’s funeral arrangements, the source told CNN.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland has assigned the US attorney in Chicago, a holdover from the Trump administration, to investigate the matter, CNN previously reported. Garland took this action after receiving a referral from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The documents were discovered on November 2, just six days before the midterm elections, but the matter did not become public until Monday.

The source told CNN that a personal lawyer for Biden was closing the downtown Washington office that Biden used as part of his work with the University of Pennsylvania. The lawyer saw an envelope with marks indicating that they were personal documents of the former vice president, opened the envelope and realized that inside were classified documents. The lawyer sealed the envelope and called NARA, the source said.

After contacting NARA, Biden’s team turned over several boxes as a precaution, despite the fact that many of them contained personal material, the source said.

Justice Department must decide how to proceed

Lausch Jr has already completed the initial part of his investigation, a source familiar with his work told CNN, and provided his preliminary findings to Garland.

That means Garland now faces a critical decision about how to proceed, including whether or not to open a full criminal investigation. Garland was also personally involved in some of the key decisions related to the investigation of the Trump documents and the decision to send the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago.

Garland decided to have Lausch conduct the investigation of the Biden documents because he is one of two remaining Trump-appointed US attorneys, and to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest because he was not appointed by Biden, people briefed on the matter said. .

Lausch was one of the few Trump-era officials not asked to resign after Biden’s inauguration in 2021, and both Illinois Democratic senators supported the decision to keep him in his post, in part because they he was handling the politically sensitive investigation of Michael Madigan, the former speaker of the Illinois House accused of corruption.

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