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Several Biden aides have been interviewed by federal law enforcement as part of a classified document review.

WASHINGTON — According to two people familiar with the situation, federal law enforcement officials have interviewed multiple aides who worked for President Joe Biden in the final days of the Obama administration to investigate how classified documents ended up in his Delaware residence and a Washington office.

Kathy Chung, who was Biden’s executive assistant while he was vice president and helped pack up his vice presidential office in January 2017, is among those who have been interviewed, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. Chung is currently the Deputy Director of Protocol for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of Robert Hur as a special counsel to investigate the documents, which could result in additional interviews.

According to one source familiar with the previous interviews, those who were asked to be interviewed by law enforcement officials complied “quickly.”

“The people who were boxing [up the vice presidential office] had no idea there was anything in there that shouldn’t leave the White House,” the source said. “There was no decision made to take certain documents that should have been presidential records or classified.”

The sources did not know if all of the aides’ interviews had been completed. It is possible that the newly appointed special counsel will interview them again. Some of Biden’s aides are now White House employees.

The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Chung and the other aides being interviewed.

All questions about Chung’s interview were directed to the Department of Justice by Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder.

The decision to interview Biden’s vice presidential staff came after federal investigators discovered less than a dozen classified documents while packing up his office space at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington in November.

The White House confirmed on Thursday that classified documents were discovered in a garage at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that there was at least one additional set of documents in addition to the Washington tranche.

Special Counsel to the President Richard Sauber said in a statement Thursday that the documents were discovered during a search for documents in Biden’s two homes in Delaware.

“All but one of these documents were discovered in storage space in the president’s Wilmington residence garage. “One document with one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room,” Sauber said.
No documents were discovered at Biden’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

When asked about the documents on Thursday, Biden said his team is fully cooperating with the Justice Department’s review of all the documents and that his lawyers had turned over the new batch discovered in the garage and adjacent room at his Wilmington home. Biden stated that he hoped to be able to speak more fully about the issue “soon.”

The president and his aides have refused to answer questions about the contents of the documents and whether they are confident there are no other classified materials from the Obama administration in other locations where Biden has stored materials from his time as vice president.

According to a source familiar with the internal discussions, the White House is avoiding discussing specific details about the documents and how they were handled because it believes those are the types of questions the Justice Department is looking into and does not want to be seen as interfering with its work.

One unanswered question is how the documents got to where they were discovered.

According to one source familiar with the situation, the documents discovered in Penn Biden’s office were among those “boxed up and moved wholesale” during his final days in office from his West Wing office to a temporary storage location near the White House provided by the General Services Administration to allow for a quick handover from one vice president to another.

Items were then taken to a temporary office and then to the Penn facility, where the classified documents were eventually discovered.

The fact that Biden was engaged in his duties until his final hours severely constrained the timeline for packing up his vice presidential office.

Biden was in Kiev on Jan. 16, four days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, for meetings with Ukraine’s prime minister and president. He then flew to Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum. On the sidelines of the forum, Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region on January 17.

He then returned to Washington, where he received the presidential daily brief in the Oval Office on his final full day as vice president, which he typically received in electronic form.

“They had to pack [his office] at odd times and very late in the game so he could continue to do official duties,” the source said.

Several people close to Biden said Chung would have played an important role in packing up materials and clearing out his offices in the final days and weeks of his presidency. According to the source, it included “memorabilia, books, and photographs” discovered while clearing out the space.

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