The federal investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents prior to becoming president has grown into a sprawling examination of Obama-era security protocols and internal White House processes, with investigators so far interviewing scores of witnesses, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News Federal prosecutors and FBI agents from special counsel Robert Hur’s office have been interviewing witnesses for nearly nine months, targeting an expansive constellation of former aides from high-level advisers to executive assistants and at least one White House attorney. Several sources estimated that as many as 100 witnesses have already been interviewed, with interviews conducted as recently as last week and some witnesses asked to return for follow-up interviews

Sources who were present for some of the interviews, including witnesses, told ABC News that authorities had apparently uncovered instances of carelessness from Biden’s vice presidency, but that based on what was said in the interviews it seemed to them that the improper removal of classified documents from Biden’s office when he left the White House in 2017 was more likely a mistake than a criminal act Nevertheless, the special counsel has reached no final determinations and the investigation is ongoing, ABC News was told In January, shortly after news first surfaced that classified documents had been found at a personal office used by Biden after his vice presidency, Blinken, a long-time aide to Biden, said he and Biden were both “surprised to learn that there were any government records taken.” It’s unclear what Blinken told Hur’s team in his voluntary interview with them



Ivestigators have shown witnesses email chains dating back to at least 2010 and asked for context about those exchanges, sources said. Witnesses have also been pressed about the use of cabinets and safes, sources saidBut ABC News learned from sources that Hur’s team has cast a wide net, gathering documents dating back to the early days of the Obama administration and drilling into questions about the task of securely updating the vice president on highly sensitive mattersFor a high-stakes special counsel investigation into a sitting president, Hur has operated largely under the radar since his appointment in January avoiding the attention and media scrutiny of special counsel Jack Smith’s probes into former President Donald Trump It has been publicly reported that investigators searched for documents dating back to Biden’s tenure in the Senate

Sources said investigators are asking witnesses, especially former military aides, granular questions about internal procedures for handling classified materials, apparently seeking to understand the minutiae of how the vice president obtained, consumed, and discarded classified briefing materials Of particular interest to investigators, according to multiple sources, was any context surrounding Biden’s tendencies for notetaking and document retention, including where he stored documents, briefing books, notes, and notecards. Prosecutors also asked the witnesses about an iPad and cell phone Biden kept for personal use, and whether they were aware if he ever handled classified materials on those devices, the sources said a former executive assistant to Biden who is now deceased, has been brought up in some interviews. ABC News previously reported that Kathy Chung, Smith’s successor as executive

Spokespersons for Hur, the State Department, Biden’s personal attorney, and the White House declined to comment for this story An attorney representing Blinken also declined to comment From 2017 to 2019, Blinken was the managing director of the Penn Biden Center, and before that he served as Biden’s national security adviser during President Barack Obama’s first term, with their association going back more than two decades, beginning when Biden was still a U.S. senator After the classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center late last year, Blinken told reporters he “had no knowledge of it at the time” but “would cooperate fully” with the Justice Department’s review. The White House similarly said that it would cooperateBiden has sought to downplay his legal exposure. One week after Hur’s appointment, in response to reporters’ questions































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