President Biden is the one of many officials to take home classified documents

President Joseph Biden told reporters that he is cooperating with investigators and has “no regrets” about how his team handled the discovery and disclosure of classified documents from his time as Vice President during the Obama administration.

“I think you’re going to find there’s nothing there. I have no regrets,” he said in his first public comment since the Justice Department assigned a special counsel to investigate how the documents ended up in Biden’s residence and former office.

A series of classified documents were discovered by Biden’s attorneys on four separate occasions between November 2022 and last weekend.

The first set of documents were found in early November in Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. and a second set was found about a month and a half later in Biden’s garage at his Wilmington, Del. home.

Biden said the documents were found in a box in a locked closet at the think tank and were turned over to the National Archives as soon as they were discovered on Nov. 2.

The documents found in Wilmington appear to be related to his time as Vice President and his tenure in the U.S. Senate. They were found after Biden’s counsel offered full access to the premise as the department investigates his possession of classified material, said Biden’s personal attorney, Bob Bauer.

“DOJ [Department of Justice] took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President,” Bauer said.

He added the department has “full access” to Biden’s home, “including personal handwritten notes, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do-lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades.”

Biden repeatedly told reporters that he takes classified materials seriously and that he and his team have been cooperating with the DOJ and National Archives since they were first discovered before the 2022 midterms.

The White House refused to comment on the nature of the Biden documents, including why the documents were in his possession for a long period of time without anyone noticing. But CNN, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported among the items discovered in the private office last fall were 10 classified documents, including U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.

The timing of the discovery and delayed disclosure of the documents by the Biden administration has Republicans in an uproar, many calling the president a hypocrite for chastising former President Donald Trump — who is currently under investigation for mishandling documents and other charges — after hundreds of pages of classified documents were found in an FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

After Trump left office in 2021, the National Archives said it realized documents related to his presidency were missing. The National Archives said Trump sent 15 boxes of documents that contained 25 items labeled top secret.

Trump was not the only one to take home documents during his time in office: former Vice President Mike Pence was also found with classified documents in his home.

The FBI searched Pence’s Indiana residence last week, a representative for Pence wrote in a letter to the National Archives.

Pence’s lawyers characterized them as a “small number of documents bearing classified markings that were inadvertently transported to the personal home of the former vice president at the end of the last administration.” He said they were found on Jan. 16 and placed in a secure safe until they could be returned to the proper authorities.

The revelations about the discovery of these documents abruptly ended “Joe Biden’s best two months since becoming president,” said Matthew Continetti in the Washington Free Beacon. “Biden has been on a winning streak since last November when Democrats avoided a midterm meltdown and the Republican Party lapsed into divisive recriminations.” Meanwhile, Republicans stumbled through an “embarrassing” fight over the House speakership.

This has “been embarrassing, politically, for the Biden White House, which has handled the matter pretty badly,” said Michael Tomasky in The New Republic. “Republicans will make a lot of noise, and the White House, because the matter is under investigation, won’t really be able to respond.”

Many Americans believe that both Biden and Trump acted inappropriately when it came to the handling of classified documents but in weighing their severity, a majority of the public believes that Trump’s actions were more serious, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll reports.

77% of Americans feel that Trump acted inappropriately in the way he handled classified files, while 64% say the same of Biden. Condemnation expectedly aligns along party lines, with 96% of Democrats saying that handling of the documents wasn’t appropriate compared to the 47% of Republicans.

Reaction to Biden’s actions on this matter varies by party, with 89% of Republicans saying that his handling of classified documents wasn’t appropriate compared to 38% of Democrats and 66% of Independents.

This poll finds that more than twice as many Americans think that Trump’s actions were more severe than Biden’s, with 43% saying Trump’s behavior was a “more serious concern” and 20% saying Biden’s behavior was more serious. Still, nearly 30% of the public find the actions of both to be equally serious.

Independents are much more likely to say Trump’s behavior was more serious than Biden’s- 43% to 14%.

Biden will not announce whether or not he plans on running for president in 2024 until he gives the State of the Union Address, according to sources.