EXCLUSIVE: Biden classified files were sent to ANOTHER D.C. location before they were stored at think tank – by team led by aide who’d been recommended by Hunter – sparking more questions about the documents debacle
- Files from Biden VP’s office first went to a transition office near White House
- Then then went to a temporary Penn Biden space in downtown D.C.
- Eventually went to Penn Biden think tank that paid Biden $900,000
- A Biden lawyer discovered classified material and called National Archives
- Hunter ‘recommended’ aide who didn’t know there was classified: source
The long and winding document trail that leads classified documents from Joe Biden’s vice presidential office to the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. and now back into the hands of the government, includes yet another stopover: a temporary facility in the nation’s capital, a source tells DailyMail.com.
The documents were moved in the summer of 2017 after spending about six months at a government transition office near the White House once Biden left the vice presidency.
The space, in DC’s Chinatown neighborhood, was overseen by the Penn Biden Center while its prized location near the Capitol was being readied. The office had its formal opening, attended by Biden, in 2018.
‘Everything was just moved en masse to temporary space, then moved to Penn Biden,’ the person told DailyMail.com.
President Joe Biden said Thursday he had no regrets when asked about classified documents discovered at his former office and Wilmington home. A person familiar says the documents were transferred from a transition office to temporary space in 2017 before making their way to the
Biden’s document followed a path that took them to a building near the White House, then across town, then down to a high-end building where the Penn Biden Center was being set up
The new location adds yet another layer to the confusing classified documents debacle in which the files ended up inside a locked cabinet at the Penn Biden Center where they got discovered in November 2022 – while raising new questions about the total universe of people who might have had access to the documents over a last six years.
People involved in the process include Biden’s former staff members, General Services Administration personnel, and the staff at the think tank, an entity that would later have roles for senior aides that remain in Biden’s orbit, including now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken who served as the center’s managing director.
The woman who oversaw the packing and shipping of Biden’s documents in 2017 was former administrative assistant Kathy Chung, who secured the position with a well-placed recommendation from Hunter Biden, who touted her capabilities to his father.
‘Hunter Biden recommended it. They had worked together at Department of Commerce years ago,’ the person said. Hunter notified her of the opportunity, asked her if she was interested, and found out that she was.
‘He spoke to her father about her,’ said the person. So did former Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden associate who is among the trio of Democratic senators she had worked for in the past.
Hunter Biden did a stint at the agency under Secretary William Daley at the tail end of the Clinton Administration from 1998 to 2001, following a job at a bank at the start of a career in law and lobbying.
Then, as now, he had his father’s ear on a variety of matters.
Hunter Biden recommended Cathy Chung to be his father’s administrative assistant and helped oversee the packing and moving of Biden’s file. There is no indication that she was aware of any classified documents.
A Biden lawyer discovered documents marked ‘classified’ while clearing out Biden’s old office at the Penn Biden Center near the Capitol. The discovery would spark the events that led to the appointment of a special counsel
At least a few documents were found in Biden’s garage at his Wilmington, Delaware home. Biden’s sons, Beau and Hunter, rebuilt the car for him
Chung was the first person to be publicly identified as meeting with federal investigators in the matter. She spoke to US Attorney John Lausch’s office before AG Merrick Garland appointed Special Counsel Robert Hur to oversee the documents probe.
Officials working with Biden at the time who remain attached to him are senior aides Steve Richetti and Kate Bedingfield, and senior advisor Mike Donilon.
The former assistant helped oversee the packing of files during the busy tail end of Biden’s second term as VP. That was a time that featured a flurry of activity by Biden himself even in his final days in office. It required keeping his office functioning even while things were being put away for safekeeping.
There is no indication that Chung knew that the boxes of documents also included documents marked classified that Biden lawyer Patrick Moore discovered while clearing out Biden’s former DC office in November.
‘She helped pack up the contents of the vice president’s office, including documents, and was responsible for their being transferred to the transition office,’ said the person, who said Chung had ‘responsibility’ for the move. ‘She just didn’t know the contents of every box that was being moved.’
Mixed up with what have been reported to be 10 government documents, some marked ‘top secret,’ were the contents of desks and cabinets from Biden’s old office, papers related to late son Beau Biden’s funeral, and a document related to home repairs at Biden’s Wilmington home – a site that was itself revealed to contain additional classified material.
GSA has previously confirmed that Biden’s team vacated their transition office in July 2017, which is when the documents began the next leg of their journey, heading southeast across the city. The Penn Biden Center did not respond to a request for comment about exactly how long the boxes of material remained at the Chinatown location, and who had access to it.
The discovery of the documents has presented an immediate political problem for Biden, who said Thursday he had ‘no regrets’ about the situation, and scolded reporters for asking him about it while he was touring devastation in California.
‘There’s no there there,’ he said. In addition to the special counsel, House GOP investigators have already begun sending out requests for information.
Hunter Biden’s role has previously been identified in emails found on his infamous laptop.
‘Thanks for calling and thinking of me,’ Chung wrote to Hunter in May 2012, according to Fox News, after getting put forward for the job when predecessor Michelle Smith was leaving.
‘After the initial shock of taking in what you said… how could I pass up an opportunity to work for the Vice President of the United States!!!!’
As DailyMail.com reported this week, a newly surfaced photo from the laptop appears to show the president’s son driving the classic Corvette Stingray outside the same Wilmington home where the car – and documents marked ‘classified’ – were being stored.
At the White House Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre again stressed that Biden and his team were cooperating with investigators, after alerting the National Archives following the discovery of classified material. She once again declined further comment, even to specify what Biden was referring to when he said he had no regrets, referring matters to the Justice Department.
Another set of documents spent time at Biden’s Wilmington home. This weekend Biden is opting to make a winter trip to his beach house rather return to the scene where lawyers uncovered more documents days ago
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