At first glance it looked like a scene from the TV show ‘Hoarders’.
There were the usual useless objects piled on top of each other: a broken lamp, an old bucket, disused flower pots, and a forgotten wicker basket.
But hidden amid the clutter, in a battered cardboard box, were also classified documents detailing a troop surge in Afghanistan.
This was the scene FBI investigators greeted when they ventured into Joe Biden’s chaotic garage in Delaware.
Biden’s own Justice Department says he is an ‘old man with a bad memory’: Investigation of damning classified documents reveals he forgot when his son Beau died or when he was vice president and left Afghanistan files next to a dog bed in his garage .
A view of Biden’s garage where classified documents from Afghanistan were found
According to a Department of Justice report, the Afghanistan documents were found “in a badly damaged box in the garage, near a collapsed dog cage, a dog bed, a Zappos box, an empty bucket, a wrapped broken lamp with duct tape, potting soil, and synthetic firewood.’
There was also a treadmill, a step ladder, and what appeared to be an old bean bag chair.
Other photos released in a 388-page report showed the inside of the garage’s messy storage closet.
There was also footage of another messy closet in Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington.
Other photographs showed his Delaware basement home office and the notebooks he kept there in open drawers.
Special counsel Robert Hur’s Justice Department report, released Thursday, made a harshly critical assessment of Biden’s handling of sensitive government materials.
He concluded that he should not be criminally charged because a jury was unlikely to convict him.
This was because jurors would conclude that he had “diminished faculties.”
The messy interior of Biden’s garage storage closet where Senate documents were discovered
An open drawer in Biden’s Delaware headquarters where notebooks from his time as vice president were found
Hur wrote: “Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden intentionally withheld and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”
Part of the report focuses on Biden’s handling of classified documents about Afghanistan.
Specifically, they related to the Obama administration’s decision to send additional troops there.
Biden kept documents related to that after he left office as vice president, and they were in his Delaware home.
He preserved materials documenting his opposition to the troop surge, including a classified handwritten memo from 2009 to Obama.
“These materials were evidence of the stance Mr. Biden took in what he considered one of the most important decisions of his vice presidency,” the report said.
Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington
Another view of his office at the Penn Biden Center
The documents have classification marks up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level.
They were found in a box in Biden’s Delaware garage “that contained other materials of great importance to him and which he appears to have used and accessed personally.”
Photos included in the report showed some of Afghanistan’s classified documents stored in a worn cardboard box kept in his garage, apparently in a loose collection with other household items.
According to the report, classified Obama administration documents were also found in Biden’s basement.
Classified documents from his time in the Senate in the 1970s and 1980s were also found in his garage.