US Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed an independent prosecutor on Thursday to investigate the discovery of classified documents at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and at one of his offices in Washington.
Hours earlier, Biden acknowledged that a document marked “secret” from his time as vice president was found in his “personal library” at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, along with other documents found in his garage. Three days ago, it was revealed that confidential files were also found in what used to be Biden’s office in Washington.
Garland said Biden’s lawyers informed the Justice Department Thursday morning of the discovery of a classified document at Biden’s home.
Robert Hur, a former federal prosecutor appointed by former President Donald Trump in Maryland, will lead the investigation and replace the Justice Department’s lead prosecutor in Chicago, John Lausch, whom the department had originally appointed to investigate the matter. Hur will start his work soon.
“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of special counsel to this matter,” Garland said, adding that Hur is authorized to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law.
For his part, Hur vowed to work quickly and thoroughly, “without fear or favoritism.”
“I will lead the assigned investigation with fair, impartial and selfless judgment,” Hu said in a statement after his appointment. “It is my intention to investigate the facts quickly and thoroughly, without fear or favoritism, and I will honor the trust placed in me to provide this service.”
The appointment of yet another special prosecutor to investigate the handling of confidential documents is a remarkable turn of events, legally and politically, for a Justice Department that has spent months investigating why Trump kept more than 300 documents marked as unsafe at his Florida mansion. secrets.
Biden acknowledged Thursday that a document with classified markings from his time as vice president was found in his “personal library” at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, along with other documents found in his garage, days after it was revealed they were also found. confidential files in what used to be his office in Washington.
The president told reporters at the White House that he is “fully and completely cooperating” with a Justice Department investigation into how classified information and government documents are stored. He did not say when the latest set of documents was found, only that his lawyers finished reviewing possible storage locations Wednesday night. Lawyers found the first set on November 2, days before the midterm elections, but this was known only three days ago.
Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said that after Biden’s personal lawyers found the initial documents, they looked at other places where other documents might have been sent after Biden left the vice presidency in 2017.
The aide said a “small number” of documents with classified markings were found in a storage space in Biden’s Wilmington garage and at another site. Biden later revealed that the other site was his personal library.
Sauber and Biden each said on their own that the Justice Department was “immediately notified” after the documents were located and that the department’s lawyers took custody of the records. The first batch of documents has already been delivered to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Regardless of the Justice Department’s review, the revelation that Biden possibly mishandled classified or presidential documents will be a political headache for Biden, who has called former President Donald Trump “irresponsible” for keeping hundreds of classified documents in his office. private club in Florida.
Earlier this week, the White House confirmed that the department was reviewing “a small number of documents with classified marks” that were found in what was Biden’s office in Washington. Biden’s lawyers discovered the material in the offices of the Penn Biden Center and then immediately called the National Archives about the discovery, the White House said. Biden had an office there from when he stepped down as vice president in 2017 until shortly before launching his 2019 presidential campaign.
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has called for intelligence agencies to conduct a “damage assessment” of potentially classified documents. Ohio Rep. Mike Turner also requested Thursday briefings from Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on the issue before Jan. 26.
“The presence of classified information in these separate locations could implicate the President in the mishandling, potential misuse, and exposure of classified information,” Turner wrote to officials.
The disclosure may also complicate the Justice Department’s consideration of bringing charges against Trump. The Republican is trying to take back the White House by 2024 and claims the department’s investigation into his conduct amounted to “corruption.”
Source: El Nuevo Herald