DOJ was prepared to seek warrant had Biden not consented to home search, sources say
CNN —The FBI’s unprecedented search of President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, resulted from high-stakes discussions between the Justice Department and Biden attorneys over when and how it would take place, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
For its part, the Justice Department had decided it would conduct the latest search – and any subsequent searches – after Biden’s team handled earlier searches themselves.
Federal investigators also were prepared to seek a warrant if they did not get consent to search the Wilmington property, according to multiple sources.
The Justice Department, however, never raised the possibility of a warrant during the recent discussions, according to a law enforcement source, even though the possibility loomed if Biden’s team didn’t cooperate.
They found six items relevant to the probe, including documents with classified markings and material from Biden’s time in the Senate.
Additional searches by Biden’s team or the Justice Department are still possible.
Before the Trump search, FBI had obtained surveillance footage showing a staffer moving boxes and investigators are looking at possible obstruction of justice.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department is keen to avoid any perception that it is treating the Biden documents case differently than the Trump Mar-a-Lago investigation.
They notified the National Archives, which in turn notified the Justice Department.
Biden’s legal team did not alert the Justice Department that it had begun to search Biden’s homes until after the attorneys discovered classified documents in his Wilmington garage, sources familiar with the investigation say.
The White House has insisted that searches by the Biden team were conducted in coordination with the Justice Department.
Biden’s team also has made a point of noting that when they did find classified documents, they suspended their searches and notified Justice officials.