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MEXICO CITY — President Biden declined again to answer reporter questions Tuesday morning about the discovery of classified documents at his former think tank office as a new report indicated the sensitive information included intelligence memos and other material on topics including Ukraine and Iran.

Multiple journalists shouted questions about the secret papers at the start of a meeting between Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City.

Biden clearly heard the queries but chose not to discuss the discovery of the documents at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which opened in 2018.

Moments later, CNN reported that 10 documents with classified markings and dated between 2013 and 2016 were found mixed in with Biden family papers — including information about the funeral arrangements for the president’s late son, Beau, who died in 2015. Some of the documents were reportedly labeled “top secret,” the highest level of government classification.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has tasked Chicago US Attorney John Lausch, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, to review the materials and the FBI is also involved, CBS News reported.

Joe Biden.
Journalists shouted questions about the secret papers at President Biden during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City.
REUTERS
Donald Trump arrives to speak at Mar-a-lago -- where classified documents were found in Aug. 2022.
Donald Trump arrives to speak at Mar-a-lago — where classified documents were found in Aug. 2022.
AP

The discovery complicates Democratic efforts to push for criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for allegedly mishandling classified documents removed from the White House and stored at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

Key details remain unknown about the Biden office discovery, including who was responsible for storing the documents at the center.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken — who is also in Mexico City for the North American Leaders’ Summit — was the center’s managing director in 2018 and top White House adviser Steve Ricchetti was managing director in 2019.

Joe Biden at the Penn Biden Center.
10 documents with classified markings and dated between 2013 and 2016 were reportedly found mixed in with Biden family papers at the Penn Biden Center.
Penn Biden Center

The White House announced Monday night that the documents were discovered by Biden’s personal lawyers on Nov. 2, 2022, while they were “packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space.”

Sauber said Biden used the office from “mid-2017 until the start of the 2020 campaign” in April 2019.

It’s unclear whether Garland learned of the documents before or after Nov. 18, when he appointed veteran prosecutor Jack Smith to serve as special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents as well as helm separate probes of Trump’s effort to challenge the results of the 2020 election, citing a desire to insulate the probes from political pressure due to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Garland has resisted calls to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Biden family’s international business dealings, including Hunter Biden’s possible tax fraud and illegal foreign lobbying, even though Biden says he intends to seek a second term in 2024.

Biden earned nearly $1 million from the University of Pennsylvania from 2017 to 2019, despite just nine reported public engagements with students. After becoming president, he nominated the university’s longtime president, Amy Gutmann, to be the US ambassador to Germany.

Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has tasked Chicago US Attorney John Lausch to review the materials.
AP
The documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
AP

Critics previously took aim at Biden’s role at the school, noting that the Ivy League college received $54.6 million in donations from China from 2014 through June 2019, including $23.1 million in anonymous gifts starting in 2016, according to public records.

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