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The morning search by FBI agents appeared to represent an expansion of the probe into Biden's handling of classified documents. The White House counsel's office did not have representatives present at the search, White House spokesperson Ian Sams told reporters. Classified documents have also been found in the home of Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, giving some political cover to Biden. Trump resisted efforts to return materials in his possession, prompting a FBI search of his Florida home and resort last year. It is unlawful to knowingly or willfully remove or retain classified material, although no current or former president or vice president has been charged with wrongdoing.
REUTERS/Evelyn HocksteinWASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department was searching President Joe Biden's second home, a beach house in Rehoboth, Delaware, on Wednesday as part of its investigation into improper storage of classified materials from his time as vice president. The search by FBI agents appears to represent an expansion of the probe into Biden's handling of classified documents. It has stripped him and fellow Democrats of a weapon against former President Donald Trump, who also had classified documents found at his home. Classified documents have also been found in the home of Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, giving some political cover to Biden. It is unlawful to knowingly or willfully remove or retain classified material, although no current or former president or vice president has been charged with wrongdoing.
"While others tried to shut this down, I made clear this is a national priority," Biden told a group of lawmakers and supporters gathered at a rail yard at the Hudson River tunnel, the nation's busiest rail corridor. On Tuesday, Biden announced that the administration has awarded nearly $1.2 billion from the law's new national infrastructure project assistance discretionary grant program for nine projects across the country, White House officials said. [1/4] U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks touting how Infrastructure Law funding will be used for the Hudson River Tunnel project, during an event at the West Side Rail Yard in New York City, U.S., January 31, 2023. "Americans see these projects popping up across the country and it sends an important message that we're gonna work together," Biden said. The Hudson River tunnel project, known as the Gateway Program, would repair an existing tunnel and build a new one for Amtrak and state commuter lines between New Jersey and Manhattan.
Biden noted that 2,200 trains ride through it daily, making it the busiest tunnel in the United States. "Folks talk about how badly the Baltimore tunnel needs an upgrade. Trains that travel through the tunnel now at 30 miles per hour will travel at 110 mph when renovations are through, Biden said. In Washington, Biden faces a colder reality as Republicans, now in control of the House of Representatives, threaten to block his economic agenda, bog down his programs in investigations and prevent the raising of the debt ceiling to force spending cuts. Biden plans a similar event on Tuesday in New York related to that city's Hudson Tunnel project.
Biden personally adds mentions of an assault weapons ban to his planned public remarks, a White House official said. "We're going to ban assault weapons again," he said on Thursday at a Lunar New Year reception at the White House, to applause. As vice president, he spearheaded a set of gun control proposals for Barack Obama after Sandy Hook that included a recommendation for a new assault weapons ban. However the Quinnipiac and other polls show that just about half of Americans support an assault weapons ban. Even though an all-out assault weapons ban seems unlikely, a very thin Republican majority in the House means that something more modest, such as raising the age to 21 to buy assault weapons, could be possible, the University of New Hampshire's Scala said.
Jan 26 (Reuters) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan is considering stepping down, according to four sources familiar with the matter. "No plans imminently, but I do know it's been on the radar screen for the past few weeks," the source said. The EPA said Regan had no plans to depart. He's committed to continuing to advance President Biden's historic climate and environmental agenda," said Maria Michalos, an EPA spokesperson and one of Regan's top aides. Regan, the first Black man to run EPA began designing the green bank in October.
When were Pence classified documents found in his Indiana home?
  + stars: | 2023-01-24 | by ( ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +1 min
WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Mike Pence found documents marked classified at his Indiana home this month which were taken by the FBI, a lawyer for the former Vice President said in letters to the National Archives. Here's how the situation unfolded, according to the letters:Jan. 16: After seeing reports that President Joe Biden had classified documents in his Delaware home, Pence engaged lawyers to review records in his Indiana home. They found "a small number of documentsthat could potentially contain sensitive or classified information," which were locked by Pence in a safe. Jan. 19: The Department of Justice requested "direct possession" of the documents, the Jan. 22 letter says. FBI agents arrived at his Indiana home at 9:30 p.m. to collect the documents, which were secured in his safe.
WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Documents marked as classified were discovered at former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's Indiana home last week, and he has turned those classified records over to the FBI, his representative said in letters seen by Reuters. Pence's representative sent a letter to the National Archives notifying them of the documents and in a separate letter said the FBI came to the former vice president's home to collect the documents. The discovery puts Pence in the company of his former boss, former President Donald Trump, and President Joe Biden after documents with classified markings were found at their residences. "Vice President Pence immediately secured those documents in a locked safe pending further direction on proper handling from the National Archives," he said. With agreement by the former vice president, FBI agents came to his Indiana home at 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 to collect the documents stored in the safe, Jacob said.
WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden named businessman and former COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients to become his second White House chief of staff on Friday, replacing Ron Klain, who is departing the administration after two years on the job. WHO IS JEFF ZIENTS? In the Biden administration, Zients served as the first COVID-19 response coordinator, charged with rolling out a massive vaccine program nationwide in early 2021. He stepped down from that role in 2022 before being tapped to prepare for potential staff turnover at the White House after the midterm elections. The White House chief of staff is like the chief operating officer for the government, someone who runs daily operations, oversees implementation of the president's policies and serves as a liaison for cabinet members.
WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden on Friday pledged to "have a discussion" with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy on U.S. debt amid a looming debate about raising the debt ceiling. "The debt we're paying on, and we're gonna have a little discussion about that with the new majority leader of the House, has accumulated over 200 years," Biden said, not citing McCarthy by name. Biden is hosting Democratic congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday. A White House official said no date had been set for a McCarthy visit. The White House has said repeatedly it will not negotiate over raising the debt ceiling and has used some Republican proposals for spending cuts to draw a contrast with Democratic priorities.
WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden said on Friday that "we're going to have a discussion" with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy about the U.S. debt ceiling. At an event with city mayors, Biden said a U.S. debt default would be a calamity unlike anything ever seen in the United States financially. "The debt we're paying on, and we're gonna have a little discussion about that with the new majority leader of the House, has accumulated over 200 years," Biden said, not naming McCarthy by name. The White House has said it will not negotiate with Republicans about raising the debt ceiling. Biden is hosting Democratic congressional leaders at the White House on Tuesday.
REUTERS/Igor Russak/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - The United States will impose additional sanctions next week against Russian private military company the Wagner Group, which U.S. officials say has been helping Russia's military in the Ukraine war, the White House said on Friday. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. Treasury Department will designate Wagner as a significant Transnational Criminal Organization. Wagner owner Yevgeny Prigozhin last month denied taking delivery of arms from North Korea and characterized the report as "gossip and speculation." Kirby said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been increasingly turning to Wagner for military support, causing some tensions in Moscow. "Wagner is becoming a rival power center to the Russian military and other Russian ministries."
Speaking to reporters in Senegal, Yellen warned that Washington could spur a global financial crisis and undermine the role of the dollar if it does not raise the $31.4 trillion debt limit. McCarthy said on Twitter he would meet Biden to "discuss a responsible debt ceiling increase to address irresponsible government spending." The U.S. government hit its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit on Thursday, a figure that reflects money already spent by the government. But the percolating battle over the U.S. debt limit later this year already is rattling markets and investors. Yellen noted the debt ceiling needs to be raised to cover borrowing on spending already authorized by Congress.
U.S. government touches debt limit
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( David Morgan | ) www.reuters.com   time to read: +4 min
Republicans, with a newly won House majority, aim to use the congressionally mandated federal debt ceiling to exact spending cuts from Biden and the Democratic-led Senate. Republicans are instead pursuing a "debt prioritization" plan that would seek to avert default by urging the Treasury to prioritize debt payments, and possibly other priorities such as Social Security and Medicare, should the limit be breached during negotiations. But we similarly should not blindly increase the debt ceiling," Representative Chip Roy, a leading conservative, told Reuters. Congress adopted a comprehensive debt ceiling, the statutory maximum of debt the government can issue, in 1939, intending to limit its growth. White House officials also note that Republicans in Congress backed multiple increases to the debt ceiling when Republican Donald Trump was president.
[1/3] People walk along a rocky beach caused by high surf following winter storms in San Diego, California, U.S., January 17, 2023. The White House said Biden, who on Saturday authorized federal disaster assistance for three hard-hit counties in northern and central California, would be joined by Governor Gavin Newsom and other elected officials. Twisted wreckage of wooden piers torn up along the waterfronts at both locations vividly illustrated the storms' destructive force. The high winds wreaked havoc on the state's power grid, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of Californians. Reporting by Jeff Mason in Washington; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Katherine Jackson in Washington; Writing by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles.
APTOS, Calif., Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden said on Thursday he has "no regrets" about his handling of classified documents found at his home and former office and that he believes the matter will be resolved. "I think you're gonna find there's nothing there," Biden told reporters as he toured storm damage in California. Biden said he has been doing as instructed by his lawyers after "a handful of documents were filed in the wrong place." Biden’s legal team acknowledged last week it had found classified documents relating to his time as vice president in the Obama administration at his Delaware home, including some in his garage. Aides previously found another batch of classified documents at his residence and at a Washington think tank he was associated with.
Aides previously found another batch of classified documents at his residence, and at a Washington think tank where he had an office after his time as vice president in the Obama administration. The White House has largely been on the defensive since the initial revelations that the documents had been found. The department is separately probing Trump's handling of highly sensitive classified documents that he retained at his Florida resort after leaving the White House in January 2021. Sams said the White House had received a "few letters" from the Republican-led House Oversight Committee on the issue, is reviewing them and will make a determination about its response in due course. The White House reiterated on Tuesday Biden's commitment to cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation.
"It basically ... is a huge gift to Trump," said David Axelrod, a former political adviser to President Barack Obama. Axelrod said the latest developments were an "embarrassment" because Biden criticized his predecessor after the FBI found classified government documents during a court-ordered search of Trump's Florida resort. The White House has promised to cooperate with the Department of Justice investigation and says the documents were inadvertently misplaced. In September Biden called Trump's handling of classified documents "totally irresponsible." "This is a distraction for the White House right when they were starting to gain some momentum," said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist and former spokesman for Republican President George W. Bush.
Biden's special counsel, Richard Sauber, said he traveled to Biden's Wilmington home on Thursday to facilitate the handover to the Justice Department of a document with classified markings that was found there earlier. Aides previously found another batch of classified documents at his residence, and at a Washington think tank he was associated with. "How many more classified documents will they find at Joe Biden’s house?" "People know I take classified documents and classified material seriously." Republicans have sought to compare the investigation of Biden's handling of classified documents to the ongoing probe into how former President Donald Trump handled classified documents after his presidency.
The White House said some material was found in a locked garage at Biden's home and an adjacent room, and pledged to cooperate. "People know I take classified documents and classified material seriously," he added. Biden's attorneys said they have found fewer than a dozen classified documents and turned over the relevant papers after finding them. Trump resisted doing so until an August FBI search turned up about 100 classified documents, raising questions about whether Trump or his staff obstructed the investigation. "People know I take classified documents, classified material seriously," Biden told reporters on Thursday.
Biden turned 80 in November and, if re-elected, would be 82 at the start of a second term. House Republicans also are poised to pursue various investigations involving the president, his family and administration. Other matters that Congress could address in 2023 include legislation expected to be needed midyear to raise the federal government's borrowing authority, or debt limit. Conservative House Republicans are showcasing legislation to undo beefed-up funding for the Internal Revenue Service so that it can hire more agents to clamp down on wealthy tax cheats. Biden is fresh off a trip to the U.S.-Mexican border, where the influx of immigrants has Republicans eager to legislate tougher security measures.
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden did not know that classified documents from his vice presidential days were at a Washington think tank or house in Wilmington, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday. Biden did not know what was in those classified documents, the White House said after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the handling of sensitive government documents found there. Reporting by Jeff Mason, writing by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Doina ChiacuOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
"We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced," White House lawyer Richard Sauber said in a statement. The White House on Monday disclosed that classified documents from Biden's vice presidential days were discovered in November at a think tank in Washington. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst 1 2 3 4 5"The fact that they called for special counsel for Trump's handling of classified documents, I don't see how they cannot appoint a special counsel with respect to Biden," said Representative James Comer, who will head the House Oversight Committee. Garland named a special counsel, Jack Smith, in November to oversee Justice Department investigations related to Trump, including the Republican former president's handling of classified documents and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. "As I said earlier this week, people know I take classified documents, classified material seriously.
WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. President Biden criticized House Republicans who have taken control of Congress for backing tax measures that he said would benefit the wealthy at the expense of middle class taxpayers, and make inflation worse. The Republican-controlled House passed a bill Monday night that would slash tens of billions of funding dollars for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which analyzes bills for lawmakers, reported in an analysis on Monday that the Republicans' IRS measure would raise the deficit by $114 billion. "House Republicans campaigned on inflation. They didn't say if elected their plan was to make inflation worse," Biden told reporters.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File PhotoWASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's legal team has discovered a second set of classified documents from his time as vice president at a storage space in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the White House said on Thursday. The discoveries have presented legal and political headaches for Biden as he prepares for an expected 2024 re-election campaign in the upcoming months. There are differences between the revelation that Biden's legal team found classified documents in his properties and the ongoing Justice Department investigation into former President Donald Trump's refusal to hand over classified documents taken from the White House. When he finally handed over 15 boxes of records in January 2022, the Archives discovered more than 100 were marked as classified. It referred the matter to the Justice Department in the spring and a special counsel has been named to oversee the investigation.
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