Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s house in Wilmington, Delaware, and an office in Washington.
The declaration came after Biden admitted Thursday morning that a secret paper from his stint as vice president had been discovered in his library along with other documents in his garage.
Garland said Biden’s lawyers told the Justice Department Thursday morning of the discovery of a sensitive document at Biden’s house after FBI investigators initially seized other materials from his garage in December.
On Monday, it was revealed that secret papers had been discovered in his previous institute’s Washington office.
John Lausch, the top Justice Department prosecutor in Chicago, who the department had previously tasked to handle the probe, will now be replaced by Robert Hur, the former U.S. attorney in Maryland that Trump had selected.
Hur will shortly start working.
For a Justice Department that has spent months looking into Donald Trump’s retention of more than 300 documents with classification markings found at the former president’s Florida estate, the appointment of yet another special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents is a remarkable turn of events, legally and politically.
Even though the situations are factually and legally distinct, any case that the department might bring against Trump would almost certainly be complicated by the discovery of classified documents linked to Biden at two different locations, as well as by the appointment of a new special counsel.
At the White House, Biden assured reporters that he was “cooperating fully and completely” with a Justice Department inquiry into the storage of sensitive data and official documents.
He did not specify when the most recent batch of documents was discovered, only that his attorneys had finished looking through possible storage facilities on Wednesday night.
The first was found by attorneys on November 2, shortly before the midterm elections, in a locked room in the Biden Penn Center’s Washington headquarters, but was publicly disclosed.
After Biden’s private attorneys discovered the initial records, according to Richard Sauber, a special counsel to the president, they looked into further sites where logs might have been transported after Biden departed the vice presidency in 2017.
One document was discovered in an adjacent room, according to Sauber, and a “limited number” with classified markings were found in a storage area in Biden’s garage in Wilmington.
After the papers were discovered, Biden said that the Department of Justice was “immediately contacted” and that department official took control of the documents.
The initial documents were given to the National Archives and Records Administration.
Can you believe this crap? Right out in the open. My Lord!!! This was in the idiots 2020 campaign ad. pic.twitter.com/BtVGdKTwgT
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) January 12, 2023