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Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Sarah D. Wire

Attorney General Garland names special counsel to review classified documents found at Biden’s office, home

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday named a special counsel to investigate the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents that were discovered at President Joe Biden’s office and home, according to a senior Justice Department official.

Garland tapped former United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert Hur to conduct the investigation. Hur was appointed to that position by former President Donald Trump and previously served as a principal associate deputy attorney general.

Documents with classification markings were found in at least two unsecured locations that Biden used after he served as vice president and before he became president, including at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Garland had asked Chicago U.S. Attorney John Lausch to review the situation.

The senior official said Lausch’s findings showed a special counsel was necessary in accordance with Justice Department regulations.

“This is not a decision he made lightly,” the official said. “The appointment of a special counsel in this matter is required.”

The move mimics Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate documents seized from former Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August.

Since news of the documents became public, Republicans have demanded that Garland appoint a special counsel.

Biden told reporters Thursday that he and his staff are complying with the Justice Department.

“As I said earlier this week, people know I take classified documents and classified material seriously,” Biden said. “I also said we’re cooperating fully, complete with the Justice Department’s review.

"My lawyers reviewed other places where documents ... from my time as vice president were stored and they finished the review last night. They discovered a small number of documents with classified markings in storage areas and file cabinets in my home and my personal library. The Department of Justice was immediately notified and the lawyers arranged for the Department of Justice to take possession of the document. So you’re going to see all of this unfold, I’m confident.”

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