Reporters pressed Biden on the issue Monday evening before his bilateral meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico City on the sidelines of the 10th North American Leaders’ Summit.
“Any response to the discovery of classified documents at your office?” one reporter asked.
Biden’s personal attorneys have confirmed roughly a dozen classified documents, including some marked “sensitive compartmented information,” were found in a locked closet last November when they were closing the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement’s Washington, D.C., office. Biden had used the workspace periodically during his University of Pennsylvania honorary professorship from 2017 to 2019. Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed a Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Chicago to investigate the matter after the Justice Department was notified by the National Archives and Records Administration. Federal officeholders are legally required to return classified materials when their tenures end.
Biden, Lopez Obrador, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are scheduled to take part in trilateral talks Tuesday before appearing together for separate statements, as opposed to a traditional press conference.
Prior to Tuesday’s discussions, the trio released a list of deliverables, which include recommitting to achieve “safe, orderly, and humane” migration in the region, in addition to addressing transnational arms and drug trafficking. The leaders announced what they described as “a virtual platform,” accessible through their Los Angeles Declaration website, to provide migrants with “streamlined access to legal pathways,” as well as a new resource center in southern Mexico supported by private-sector partners.
“This will give potential migrants the information they need to come to Mexico, the United States, and Canada lawfully — making them less likely to rely on smugglers who lie about border restrictions in place and put their lives at risk,” they wrote.
Regarding trafficking, they promised to resume the North American Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons Dialogue to improve cooperation in countering labor and sex trafficking.