Merrick Garland Assigns Special Counsel to Investigate Biden Documents

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced his decision Thursday to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Joe Biden after classified documents from his time as vice president in Barack Obama’s administration were found in his possession.

“I concluded that under the special counsel regulations, it was in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said, noting that he made his decision on January 5th.

He announced that former U.S. attorney from Maryland Robert Hur, appointed by former president Donald Trump, to investigate Biden.

“Mr. Hurr has a long and distinguished career as a prosecutor,” Garland said, adding that “I will ensure that Mr. Hur receives all the resources he needs to conduct his work.”

The building that housed office space of President Joe Biden’s former institute, the Penn Biden Center, is seen at the corner of Constitution and Louisiana Avenue NW, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. Potentially classified documents were found on Nov. 2, 2022, in a “locked closet” in the office, according to special counsel to the president Richard Sauber. The National Archives and Records Administration took custody of the documents the next day after being notified by the White House Counsel’s office. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Attorney General laid out the timeline for the Justice Department’s handling of the investigation, revealing that the investigation was well underway before it was first reported on Tuesday.

Garland recounted that he was first notified of Biden’s possession of classified documents on the evening of November 4, which were found by his lawyer in his office at the Penn-Biden center.

“That office was not authorized for the storage of classified documents,” Garland said.

On November 9th, Garland revealed, the FBI began an investigation as to whether the classified information found in Biden’s possession had been illegally mishandled.

Garland also said that on November 14th, he assigned U.S. Attorney John Lausch to conduct an initial investigation of the president for the documents found in the Penn-Biden center.

He also revealed that Joe Biden’s attorney notified them on December 20th about the classified documents found in his garage, that were secured by the FBI.

President Joe Biden’s counsel Richard Sauber said in a statement that Biden’s possession of the classified documents was a “mistake” and the documents were “inadvertently misplaced.”

“We have cooperated closely with the Justice Department throughout its review and we will continue that cooperation with the Special Counsel,” he wrote.

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