Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Zeke Miller, Associated Press

Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden documents

Attorney General Merrick Garland (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

US Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate the presence of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and at an office in Washington.

The announcement followed Mr Biden’s acknowledgement on Thursday morning that a document with classified markings from his time as vice president was found in his personal library, along with other documents found in his garage.

It was disclosed on Monday that sensitive documents were found at the office of his former institute in Washington.

Robert Hur (Steve Ruark/AP)

Robert Hur, the former Trump-appointed US attorney in Maryland, will lead the investigation, taking over from the top Justice Department prosecutor in Chicago, John Lausch, who was earlier assigned by the department to investigate the matter.

Mr Hur is to begin his work soon.

Mr Hur was a close ally of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and contacts between then-candidate Mr Trump’s associates and Russian officials.

He also worked as an adviser to FBI Director Christopher Wray in the Justice Department.

“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial and dispassionate judgment,” he said in a statement after his appointment.

“I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favour and will honour the trust placed in me to perform this service.”

“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Mr Garland said, adding that Mr Hur is authorised to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law.

“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,” Mr Garland said.

The appointment of yet another special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents is a remarkable turn of events, legally and politically, for a Justice Department that has spent months looking into the retention by Donald Trump of more than 300 documents with classification markings found at the former president’s Florida estate.

Though the situations are factually and legally different, the discovery of classified documents at two separate locations tied to Mr Biden — as well as the appointment of a new special counsel — would almost certainly complicate any prosecution that the department might bring against Mr Trump.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.