Jason R. Baron, a former director of litigation at the National Archives, said when it comes to notebooks containing handwritten notes about personal matters, intermixed with notes about government business, they would likely be considered personal property if Biden never shared them with any government staffers during the vice presidency.
Baron said that holds true whether Biden jotted a note to himself about buying a birthday president for his wife or wrote about a meeting with a foreign leader.
But if Biden did share the contents of the notebooks with staff while serving as vice president, the material would be deemed official records belonging to the government, Baron said.
“Handwritten personal notes of a former president or vice president are only considered presidential records if they were shared or communicated with other White House or federal agency personnel for use in transacting government business,” Baron said. “A former president or vice president has the right to take out of the White House personal notes — they are not official records that come into the legal custody of the National Archives at the end of an administration.”
On Jan. 20, the FBI spent more than 12 hours searching Biden’s Wilmington home for any possible records from his eight years as vice president, including potentially classified materials.