Special counsel to probe classified documents found at Biden's home and office
The investigation will be led by Robert Hur, a U.S. attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump
January 13, 2023 5:38am
Updated: January 13, 2023 8:46am
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s home and private office.
The investigation will be led by Robert Hur, a U.S. attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump. Hur will be tasked to examine “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered.”
“This appointment underscores for the public the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters, and to making decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law,” Garland said.
“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment. I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favor, and will honor the trust placed in me to perform this service,” Hur said in a statement.
Biden’s lawyers found the classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president in early November in his former private office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
Many of the “top secret” documents included U.S. intelligence materials and briefing memos about Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom, according to a source familiar with the matter.
A second batch of sensitive documents was found this week in the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. Most of the new documents were found in storage in Biden’s garage; another was found in “an adjacent room.”
Classified records are supposed to be stored in secure locations and are supposed to be handed over to the National Archives when the administration ends, according to the Presidential Records Act.
Biden told reporters that he was fully cooperating with the investigation by the Justice Department.
“We have cooperated closely with the Justice Department throughout its review, and we will continue that cooperation with the special counsel,” said Richard Sauber, a lawyer for the president. “We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake.”
This is the second time in a matter of months that Garland appoints a special counsel to conduct a high-profile probe. The previous investigation involved Trump and the documents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.