Iranian Couple Reportedly Jailed For 10 Years After Posting A Dance Video

BBC confirmed that the couple’s arrest came after they posted the video on social media.

CBS News reported that the Iranian state media outlet Mizan claimed Haghighi and Ahmadi were not detained for dancing but for stoking resistance efforts in their Instagram posts by “encouraging people to riot against the country and subversion.”

Mizan disputed the 10-year punishment and claimed the couple received a five-year prison sentence for publishing “a call for protests.”

“It is clear that anti-revolutionary forces have falsely reported the charges by claiming each were sentenced to 10 years,” the Islamic Republic judiciary’s Mizan news agency said, reported Reuters.

“Astiazh Haghighi and Amir Mohammad Ahmadi had published a call for a rally on November 4 and called for riots on their Instagram pages,” Mizan’s statement reads, per CBS News. “During the riots, they used their page to advertise calls, including the call for November 4.”

The couple was individually sentenced by a Tehran court to prison for 10 years and 6 months each, for a total of 21 years combined, on counts of “promotion of impurity and indecency, assembly and collusion against national security, and propaganda against the regime,” the Washington Post said Wednesday. The couple have also been banned from social media and are not allowed to leave the country for two years. While their profiles remain public, there have not been posts on Haghighi’s feed since Sept. 28, 2022. Ahmadi’s last post was at the beginning of September.

Iranians have been protesting in growing numbers against the government’s theocratic rule, and authorities have been cracking down. Much of the public dissent was sparked last year by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was arrested by Iran’s morality police for the improper wearing of a hijab. Amini died days later in their custody.

Iranian officials have since arrested public figures who have spoken out against the government’s reaction to Amini’s death. This includes the arrests of prominent actor Taraneh Alidoosti and celebrity chef Navab Ebrahimi.

Haghighi spoke out in support of Amini in September. In an Instagram post, she wrote, “Hoping tomorrow will be a better tomorrow. Let’s hold each other’s hands and support each other. We are all Iranians and we need to help each other.”


Gunman kills 1, wounds 2 in US metro rampage before passengers disarm him

Discrimination against hijab-wearing Muslim women at all-time high, campaigners say

LONDON: “Hijabophobia” is at an all-time high “due to the current political climate,” as a result of which hijab-wearing Muslim women face increasing discrimination in everyday life, the organizers of World Hijab Day said on Wednesday.

“Muslim women are being pressured to remove their hijab to ‘show solidarity’ and make political statements, while parts of the world enact legislation that prevent hijabi women from participating in society,” WHD told Arab News.

It had called on women of all backgrounds to “take a stand against hijabophobia by donning a headscarf” on World Hijab Day, Feb. 1, to help raise awareness of the Muslim tradition and women’s rights.

“The theme for World Hijab Day 2023, #UnapologeticHijabi, is bolder and stronger than ever before: Muslim women unapologetically wearing the hijab proudly,” the organization said.

“Due to the current climate, Muslim women wearing the hijab are portrayed as oppressed, submissive and backward, and the hijab is used to justify discrimination and abuse against them.

“This can lead to a lack of understanding and empathy toward Muslim women, and can make it harder for these women to fully participate in society and access opportunities.”

WHD said women who choose to wear the headscarf, whether for reasons of modesty or religious observance, face challenges integrating into educational and workplace environments.

“In some cases, there may be religious discrimination, or a lack of understanding and acceptance of the hijab,” the organization said.

It added that “in schools, some hijabi students may face discrimination or harassment from classmates or teachers, or be barred from getting an education altogether; such is the case in Karnataka, India.”

This was a reference to a decision by the High Court of Karnataka in February last year that banned thousands of Muslim girls from wearing religious garments in school.

WHD also cited examples of discrimination it said hijab-wearing women face in the workplace, and bias during the hiring process.

“Experimental studies suggested that the chances of being hired, and so gainfully employed, were on average 40 percent lower among Muslim women wearing the hijab than they were among otherwise similar Muslim women not wearing the hijab, in the West.

“For example, a 2022 study found that in the Netherlands, almost 70 percent of job applications that included a photograph of an unveiled woman received a positive callback for jobs requiring high customer contact. But for applications with hijab-clad photographs, the positive rate was 35 percent.”

WHD, which was founded in 2013 in New York by Bangladeshi American woman Nazma Khan, said: “Muslim women in European countries are more likely subjected to hijabophobia in public spaces and the labor market.”

In particular it referred to a December 2020 study by US-based think tank the Pew Research Center, which found: “Women in 56 countries experienced social hostilities — that is, harassment from individuals or groups — due to clothing that was deemed to violate religious or secular dress norms, according to the sources analyzed for a recent Pew Research Center study of 198 nations.”

The study said that women were targeted for violating secular dress norms, including wearing a hijab or other religious garb, in 42 of 56 countries in which sources alleged that social harassment took place between 2016 and 2018.

However, WHD said: “While there are challenges to the integration of hijabi women in schools and the workplace, there have also been efforts to promote understanding and acceptance of hijabi women in these settings,” including World Hijab Day itself, which aims “to promote integration and acceptance of hijabi women in these settings.”

The organization, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, said it expected thousands of people in more than 150 countries to celebrate World Hijab Day 2023, including in the UK, Japan, Korea and Switzerland.

“Most notably, we see more and more non-Muslims taking part in wearing the hijab on Feb. 1,” It added. “Many of them share their experiences with us, which we believe helps others to learn more about the hijab.”

WHD said that efforts to raise awareness through its movement have helped to change views on the hijab around the world, with two-thirds of past participants reporting positive experiences that changed their views on wearing the headscarf.

This year, the organization added, it hoped to further raise awareness, grow its platform, increase the confidence of women who wear the hijab, and “welcome those with curiosity and misunderstandings to an open forum and place to ask questions.”

WHD is also a fundraising event and money raised this year will go toward creating diversity and inclusion workshops on Muslim culture for schools, to help foster a safe and healthy educational environment for Muslim students, the organization said.


Andrew Tate Loses Appeal In Romania, To Be Held 30 More Days

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A Romanian court on Wednesday upheld a second 30-day arrest of the divisive influencer and former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate, who is detained on suspicion of organized crime and human trafficking, an official said.

Tate lost his appeal against a judge’s Jan. 20 decision to extend his arrest a second time for 30 days, said Ramona Bolla, a spokesperson for Romania’s anti-organized crime agency DIICOT.

Tate, 36, a British-U.S. citizen who has nearly 5 million followers on Twitter, arrived at the Bucharest Court of Appeal handcuffed to his brother Tristan, who is held in the same case along with two Romanian women.

The court rejected all four appeals and will remain in custody until Feb. 27 as prosecutors continue investigating the case. They previously lost an appeal against an earlier 30-day extension.

A document seen by The Associated Press explaining the Jan. 20 decision, said the judge took into account the “particular dangerousness of the defendants” and their capacity to identify victims “with an increased vulnerability, in search of better life opportunities.”

British-US former professional kickboxer and controversial influencer Andrew Tate talks to media as he leaves Romania's anti-organized crime and terrorism directorate (DIICOT), after a digital investigation of devices, where his presence was required, in Bucharest, Romania on January 25, 2023. (Photo by MIHAI BARBU / AFP) (Photo by MIHAI BARBU/AFP via Getty Images)
British-US former professional kickboxer and controversial influencer Andrew Tate talks to media as he leaves Romania’s anti-organized crime and terrorism directorate (DIICOT), after a digital investigation of devices, where his presence was required, in Bucharest, Romania on January 25, 2023. (Photo by MIHAI BARBU / AFP) (Photo by MIHAI BARBU/AFP via Getty Images)

MIHAI BARBU via Getty Images

Ioan Gliga, a lawyer representing the Tate brothers, told the media Wednesday before the court ruled that the defense presented “solid arguments” that the extended detention period “is not necessary.”

“The probationary (period) originally considered the value of this preventative measure for 30 days and it was significantly diluted by other means of evidence administered in the meantime,” he said.

As the Tates left the court after Wednesday’s hearing, Andrew Tate said: “Ask them for evidence and they will give you none, because it doesn’t exist. You’ll find out the truth of this case soon.”

Tate, who has reportedly lived in Romania since 2017, was previously banned from various prominent social media platforms for expressing misogynistic views and hate speech. He has claimed there is “zero evidence” against him in the case and alleged it is instead a political attack to silence him.

“My case is not criminal, it’s political. It’s not about justice or fairness. It’s about attacking my influence on the world,” read a post that appeared on his Twitter account on Sunday.

An online petition launched in January to free the brothers has garnered nearly 100,000 signatures.

After the Tates and the two women were arrested, Romania’s anti-organized crime agency, DIICOT, said in a statement that it had identified six victims in the human trafficking case who were subjected to “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and were sexually exploited by members of the alleged crime group.

The agency said victims were lured with pretenses of love, and later intimidated, surveilled and subjected to other control tactics while being coerced into engaging in pornographic acts for substantial financial gains.

Earlier in January, Romanian authorities descended on a compound near Bucharest where they towed away a fleet of luxury cars that included a blue Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and a Porsche. They reported seizing assets worth an estimated $3.9 million.

Prosecutors have said that if they can prove the owners gained money through illicit activities such as human trafficking, the assets would be used to cover the expenses of the investigation and to compensate victims. Tate also unsuccessfully appealed the asset seizure.

Stephen McGrath reported from Sighisoara.


U.S. charges 4 key suspects connected to the assassination of Haiti’s president  – National

Four key suspects in the killing of Haiti’s president appeared for the first time in U.S. federal court Wednesday to face accusations that they plotted and participated in his assassination, a day after they were transferred to the United States for prosecution.

Haitian-Americans James Solages, Joseph Vincent and Christian Emmanuel Sanon and Colombian citizen German Rivera Garcia looked calm as they entered a federal court in Miami wearing beige prisoner uniforms with their hands and ankles shackled.

They did not speak at the hearing, except to petition for a public defender when Judged Alicia Otazo-Reyes asked each of them if they can afford to pay an attorney.

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“I would appreciate it if the court would appoint a counselor,” said Solages, the second of the defendants called by the judge to listen to the charges. He, like each of them, answered “no” when the judge asked if they have work, savings or property.

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The judge appointed a different attorney for each of them.

Solages, 37, Vincent, 57, and Rivera, 44, were among the first arrested after Jovenel Moise was shot 12 times at his private home near the capital of Port-au-Prince on July, 7 2021. All three are accused of conspiring to commit murder or kidnapping outside the U.S. and providing material support and resources resulting in death.

Sanon, a pastor, doctor, and failed businessman, 54, is charged with conspiring to smuggle goods from the United States and cause export information not to be filed, as well as with smuggling goods from the United States and providing unlawful export information. Court documents state that he allegedly shipped 20 ballistic vests to Haiti, but that the items shipped were described as “medical X-ray vests and school supplies.”

READ MORE: Haiti’s UN envoy says she heard ‘caution,’ not ‘no’ from Canada, U.S. over intervention

If convicted, Solages, Vincent and Rivera face up to life imprisonment. Sanon, whose associates have suggested he was deceived by the real and still unidentified masterminds behind the assassination, faces up to 20 years if convicted.

Duing the approximately half-hour hearing, the prosecutors requested that the four remain in detention at a federal prison, arguing there was a risk that they would flee the country. The judge set a bond hearing for Monday and arraignment for Feb. 15.

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A total of seven suspects in the case are now in U.S. custody facing charges in South Florida for their alleged participation in the killing of the Haitian leader. Among them are Rivera and Mario Palacios, two among nearly two dozen former Colombian soldiers charged in the case.

The other suspects already in U.S. custody are Rodolphe Jaar, a former U.S. government informant and a Haitian businessman who was extradited from the Dominican Republic, where he was detained in January 2022.

Click to play video: '‘Haiti Betrayed’ looks at impact of Canadian foreign policy'

‘Haiti Betrayed’ looks at impact of Canadian foreign policy

Also arrested that same month was Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios, a former Colombian soldier deported by Jamaica after fleeing there from Haiti. He was detained by U.S. officials in Panama during a layover while en route to Colombia.

In January 2022, authorities arrested former Haitian Sen. John Joel Joseph, who also had fled to Jamaica.

In Haiti, the case is at virtual standstill amid death threats that have spooked local judges.

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According to court documents, two months before Moise was killed, Vincent texted Solages a video of a cat “reacting alertly” to the sound of gunfire. Solages laughed, prompting Vincent to respond: “That’s the way Jovenel will be pretty much, but (sooner) if you guys really up to it!. Then Solages responded that “(this) cat will never come back,” and “trust me brother, we definitely working our final decision,” the documents stated.

Click to play video: 'Chaos in Haiti: What is Canada’s responsibility?'

Chaos in Haiti: What is Canada’s responsibility?

Later, in June, some 20 former Colombian soldiers were recruited to supposedly help arrest the president and protect Sanon, who envisioned himself as Haiti’s new leader. Rivera was in charge of that group, according to the documents that are part of the case in South Florida.

Authorities said the plan was to detain Moise and whisk him to an unidentified location by plane, but that plot fell through when the suspects couldn’t find a plane or sufficient weapons.

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A day before the killing, Solages falsely told other suspects that it was a CIA operation and that the mission was to kill the president, according to the documents. Shortly before the killing, authorities said, Solages shouted that it was allegedly a DEA operation to ensure compliance from the president’s security detail.

About a year after the killing, U.S. authorities say they interviewed Solages, Vincent and Rivera while they were in Haitian custody and that they agreed to talk.

&copy 2023 The Associated Press


Mourners call for end to police brutality at Tyre Nichols funeral in Memphis

Issued on:

The relatives of Black people killed by police in cities across the United States came to Tyre Nichols’ funeral in a Memphis church on Wednesday to offer comfort to the family of the Black 29-year-old, who was fatally beaten by officers last month.

Speaking over a flower-bedecked casket at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, preachers recalled a young man who loved photography and skateboarding, and demanded justice for Nichols.

Civil rights leaders and family members also called for an end to recurring police violence against Black Americans. They addressed a congregation that included relatives of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, two African Americans whose deaths at the hands of police sparked protests in 2020.

“We cannot continue to let these people brutalise our kids,” said Rodney Wells, Nichols’ stepfather.

Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Memphis and embraced Nichols’ mother, RowVaughn Wells, in the pews before addressing the congregation.

“This is a family that lost their son and their brother through an act of violence at the hands and the feet of people who had been charged with keeping them safe,” Harris said. “Tyre Nichols should have been safe.” The Democrat promised to help pass federal legislation to reduce police misconduct.

Nichols died on January 10 in a hospital from injuries he sustained three days earlier when beaten by Memphis police who pulled him over while he was driving home.

Ben Crump, an attorney for the family, has branded the incident a “police lynching.”

The Memphis Police Department fired five of the officers, who also are Black. Prosecutors charged them last week with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, who has often spoken at the funerals of victims of police brutality, decried the five officers as “thugs” and traitors to the civil rights movement as he eulogised Nichols in the city where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

“You didn’t get on the police department by yourself,” Sharpton said as the congregation clapped and shouted. “People had to march and go to jail and some lost their lives to open the doors for you, and how dare you act like that sacrifice was for nothing?”

Two other officers implicated in the events leading to Nichols’ death have been relieved of duty — effectively suspended — and are under investigation. Two paramedics and their on-scene supervisor were dismissed on Monday from the city fire department, while two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies have been suspended.

Police video of the confrontation released by the city on Friday showed officers dousing Nichols with pepper spray and pummeling him with punches, kicks and baton blows as he cried out for his mother. One officer was seen firing a Taser stun gun at Nichols when he attempted to flee.

The footage ends showing Nichols was left handcuffed, bloodied and slumped against the side of a police vehicle for nearly a quarter-hour before receiving medical attention.

The chief of police, Cerelyn Davis, has called the conduct seen in the video “inhumane” and said investigators have not substantiated that Nichols was driving recklessly when he was pulled over, as arresting officers asserted at the time.

Civil rights advocates and lawyers for Nichols’ family have condemned the beating as the latest case of a Black person brutalized by a racially biased law enforcement system that disproportionately targets people of color, even when officers involved are not white.

Nichols grew up in Sacramento, California, and moved to Memphis early in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. He had a 4-year-old son and took a daily supper break from his FedEx job to join his stepfather and co-worker for meals at his home.

Antonio Romanucci, another lawyer for his family, has said Nichols also was a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying it was a cause for which he gave his life, “and essentially what that makes him is a martyr.”



Underwater volcano erupts in Vanuatu

After reports of steam over the site, the underwater volcano started belching ash up to 100 metres high early Wednesday.

FILE: A view of Manaro Voui volcano on Vanuatu’s northern island Ambae. Picture: @hannarosebutler/Twitter

PORT VILA – Vanuatu’s East Epi underwater volcano erupted Wednesday, hurtling ash into the sky and leading authorities to warn ships and aircraft to avoid the area.

“We are telling locals to watch out for any strong explosions as the eruptions are still ongoing,” senior volcano officer Ricardo William, at the meteorology and geo-hazards department, told AFP.

A 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) “danger zone” has been established around the submerged volcano, which lies 68 kilometres north of the capital Port Vila.

After reports of steam over the site, the underwater volcano started belching ash up to 100 metres high early Wednesday.

Volcanic activity started shortly before 8 am (2100 GMT Tuesday), according to the local meteorology department.

Eyewitness Philip Dick, a government official, told AFP the ground started shaking and smoke above the site was visible in the early hours.

“Then the explosions began — there is still a bad smell of sulphur within the nearby villages,” he added.

Officials raised the volcano alert to the first level, meaning “minor unrest”, on a scale of one to five.

Locals on the nearby islands of Epi and Tongoa have been told to avoid the coast.

“People are advised to stay on alert… the ongoing volcanic eruptions could trigger a possible tsunami,” the department said in a statement.

It added that, while the Alaska-based Tsunami Warning Center had not picked up any activity in the Vanuatu region, “such eruptions have the potential to create tsunami waves”.

The Pacific island nation was rocked by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in early January off the largest island Espiritu Santo in the north of the archipelago.

Vanuatu is in the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, where tectonic plates collide.

It experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity.


DOJ raids US President Biden’s beach house for classified documents

U.S. President Joe Biden’s Delaware beach house was raided by the Department of Justice for classified documents, his lawyer said Wednesday.

“We agreed to cooperate,” Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, said in a statement, saying more information would be released after the search was concluded.

The Justice Department has previously searched the Democratic president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, and the office space he had used.

Classified documents have also been found in the homes of former Republican President Donald Trump and his former vice president, Mike Pence.

Biden has vowed to cooperate with the searches and Pence had said he takes responsibility for the found documents. Trump resisted efforts to return materials in his possession, prompting an FBI search of his Florida home and resort last year.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed two separate special counsels to review Trump and Biden’s handling of such documents as both eye the 2024 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the National Archives has reportedly asked all former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to search their personal records for classified documents or other presidential material that should have been turned over when they left office.

It is unlawful to knowingly or willfully remove or retain classified material, although no current or former president or vice president has been charged with wrongdoing.

Former President Donald Trump, who is also under investigation over his handling of classified documents and whose Florida residence was searched by FBI agents in August, wrote on social media shortly after the findings: “When is the FBI going to raid the many homes of Joe Biden, perhaps even the White House? These documents were definitely not declassified.”

Unlike Biden, who has voluntarily cooperated with the Justice Department after about a dozen documents emerged, Trump repeatedly obstructed requests from the National Archives to return over 150 documents he was not authorized to have.

After months of fruitless government attempts to get back the documents, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was finally searched with a warrant. The searches of Biden’s addresses have come voluntarily, without a warrant.

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Pope Francis: More than one million people attend DRC papal Mass

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

More than one million people attended Pope Francis’ Mass in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Wednesday, the Vatican Press Office said, citing figures estimated by local authorities.

Francis’ trip to the DRC – the first papal visit since 1985 – comes at a time the African nation is beset by armed fighting and a worsening refugee crisis.

It is part of a six-day trip in the DRC and South Sudan – two countries where Catholics comprise about half of the population and the Church is a key stakeholder in health and education systems as well as in democracy-building efforts. Both countries have abundant natural resources, but are grappling with poverty and strife.

Worshippers gather at N'Dolo Airport for a Mass led by Pope Francis in the DRC's Kinshasa on Wednesday.

Pope Francis celebrates a holy Mass at N'Dolo Airport in Kinshasa in the DRC on Wednesday.

A CNN team on the ground witnessed crowds singing and dancing at N’Dolo Airport from the early hours of the morning, waiting for their first glimpse of the Pope, who toured the air field in an open Popemobile.

Francis spoke to attendees in his homily about peace and directly challenged those who wield weapons.

“May it be the right time for you, who in this country call yourself a Christian but commit violence,” Francis said. “To you the Lord says, ‘Put down your arms and embrace mercy.’”

“We Christians are called to cooperate with everyone, to break the cycle of violence, to dismantle the machinations of hatred,” the Pope said.

Francis said the population was suffering from “wounds that ache, continually infected by hatred and violence, while the medicine of justice and the balm of hope never seem to arrive,” according to Reuters.

Decades of militia violence have taken grip of the DRC, as state forces struggle to curb rebel groups. Conflict between government troops and the M23 rebel group, which seeks control of the country from its stronghold in eastern DRC, has left many dead and displaced thousands.

According to the UN World Food Programme, 26 million people in the DRC face severe hunger.

Francis met with victims of violence from the east during his visit, and said he was “left without words” after hearing their harrowing stories.

“We can only weep in silence,” the Pope said, as he thanked the victims for their courageous testimony.

He is scheduled to leave Kinshasa Friday for South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where he will be joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Iain Greenshields.


FBI finds no classified documents at Biden Rehoboth home

U.S. Secret Service agents are seen in front of Joe Biden’s Rehoboth Beach, Del., home on Jan. 12, 2021. The FBI is conducting a planned search of President Joe Biden’s Rehoboth Beach, Delaware home as part of its investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents. That’s according to a statement from Biden’s personal lawyer.

Shannon McNaught | Delaware News Journal | AP

FBI agents on Wednesday morning searched the Rehoboth, Delaware, beach home of President Joe Biden for more than three hours, but found no documents marked classified, his personal lawyer said.

Agents “took for further review some materials and handwritten notes that appear to relate to his time as Vice President,” Biden’s lawyer Bob Bauer said.

A senior law enforcement source who spoke with NBC News corroborated Bauer’s characterization of the outcome of the FBI’s search.

The planned, consensual search is the first publicly known time the FBI searched the Rehoboth residence. Agents did not obtain a warrant for the search, which began at 8:30 a.m. ET and ended at noon. They had not gotten warrants for two prior FBI searches of other locations linked to Biden.

The Department of Justice is investigating the discovery of classified documents at a private office in a Washington, D.C., think tank that Biden had used while a private citizen, and at his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Biden’s personal lawyer, Bob Bauer, previously said that the president’s lawyers searched the Rehoboth home and the Wilmington residence on Jan. 11.

Those attorneys found classified records in Wilmington, but not in Rehoboth, according to Bauer.

The FBI searched the think tank office in mid-November after Biden’s personal lawyers first found classified records there on Nov. 2. The FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington home on Jan. 20.

White House spokesman Ian Sams on Wednesday would not say how many classified documents in total have been found at the Biden-linked locations.

In an earlier statement Wednesday, Bauer said, “Today, with the President’s full support and cooperation, the DOJ is conducting a planned search of his home in Rehoboth, Delaware.”

US President Joe Biden rides a bike through Gordon’s Pond State Park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on July 10, 2022.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

“Under DOJ’s standard procedures, in the interests of operational security and integrity, it sought to do this work without advance public notice, and we agreed to cooperate,” the lawyer said.

“The search today is a further step in a thorough and timely DOJ process we will continue to fully support and facilitate,” Bauer said.

Bauer in a later statement confirmed the search had ended.

“No documents with classified markings were found,” Bauer said.

Ian Sams told reporters later, “I’m not going to speak to the negotiations or discussions or collaborations between the president’s personal attorney and the DOJ in establishing the search.”

“We’re cooperating fully with the Justice Department,” Sams said.

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

Attorney General Merrick Garland last month appointed a special counsel, Robert Hur, to oversee the investigation into the Biden documents.

Special Assistant To The President And Spokesperson For The White House Counsel’s Office Ian Sams calls on reporters outside the West Wing of the White House on February 01, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Garland last year appointed another special counsel to investigate the discovery of classified records and other government documents at the residence of former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

FBI agents on Aug. 9 found those documents during a raid at Mar-a-Lago. In that search, agents had obtained a warrant.

Lawyers for Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, two weeks ago notified the National Archives and Records Administration that they had found a “small number” of classified documents at his home in Carmel, Indiana, on Jan. 16.

Additional reporting by CNBC’s Emma Kinery and Kevin Breuninger.