Senior Democrats criticized President Joe Biden's handling of classified information when he stepped down as vice president and expressed displeasure that the White House has not been more open with the public.

The second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, said during a CNN State of the Union appearance that Biden should be "embarrassed by the situation."

He said that the president has given up the moral high ground in a situation that already involves former President Donald Trump. Attorney General Merrick Garland's special prosecutors are looking into both cases.

"Well, of course. Let's be honest about it. When the information is found, it diminishes the stature of any person who is in possession of it because it's not supposed to happen ... The elected official bears ultimate responsibility," Durbin said.

The FBI discovered more documents with classified markings and took possession of some of Biden's handwritten notes during a search of his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday, according to the president's lawyer.

Despite their criticism, Biden's Democratic colleagues supported his apparent collaboration with the Justice Department while the search for new confidential files continues. They compared it to Trump's refusal to cooperate with efforts to recover hundreds of papers after he left office.

Although Biden gave the FBI permission to search his house on Friday, the absence of a warrant did not lessen the search's unusual nature. It increased the embarrassment for Biden that had already begun in January with the admission that the president's attorneys had discovered a "small number" of classified materials in a previous office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.

The White House has revealed that Biden's team discovered sensitive documents and official records four times in recent months: on Nov. 2 in the offices of the Penn Biden Center in Washington, on Dec. 20 in his Wilmington garage, and on Jan.11 and 12 in his home library.

The revelations have become a political problem for Biden as he prepares to launch his reelection campaign in 2024, undermining his efforts to project a sense of decorum to the American people following Trump's turbulent presidency.

Senator Joe Manchin chastised both men for mishandling classified documents.

"It's just hard to believe that in the United States of America, we have a former president and a current president that are basically in the same situation," he said. "How does this happen?"

At the same time, Democrats were concerned that Biden's difficulties would have given newly powerful House Republicans a chance to take advantage.