Biden Interviewed in Classified Documents Probe – The White House announced on Monday night that President Joe Biden willingly participated in interviews conducted by the special counsel team. These interviews took place at the White House on both Sunday and Monday and centered on the investigation into the presence of classified documents from his tenure as vice president in his office and residence.
“As we have said from the beginning, the President and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation,” Ian Sams, spokesperson for the White House, said in a statement.
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Typically, interviews of this significance within an investigation suggest that the inquiry is approaching its conclusion. The investigation commenced last year following the discovery of documents in an office used by President Biden after his tenure in the Obama administration and before his presidential campaign. President Biden’s legal team promptly informed the National Archives and Records Administration, surrendering the documents.
Subsequently, additional documents were uncovered in the president’s Delaware residence. In January, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate this matter. Notably, the probe into President Biden has largely remained confidential, a stark contrast to the highly publicized disputes over executive privilege during the investigation into documents associated with his predecessor, Donald Trump.
Unlike President Biden, Trump declined an interview with special counsel Jack Smith, which preceded his indictment on charges related to attempts to undermine the 2020 election. The FBI also conducted searches of the Biden vacation home in Rehoboth, Del., where “some materials and handwritten notes,” were found that appeared to also date back to Biden’s time as vice president, the president’s lawyer Bob Bauer said at the time.
A representative for Robert Hur declined to provide comments regarding President Biden’s questioning. Although it’s uncommon for criminal investigators to interview sitting presidents, several recent leaders have cooperated with prosecutors in sensitive investigations. For instance, in 2008, then President-elect Barack Obama underwent questioning by federal prosecutors and the FBI in connection with an inquiry into the attempted sale of the Senate seat he was vacating by Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
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Former President George W. Bush also participated in an interview in 2004 as part of an investigation into the disclosure of CIA officer Valerie Plame’s identity. Similarly, Bill Clinton was questioned in multiple investigations, notably in a widely publicized videotaped testimony to a grand jury during an inquiry into his statements about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.