Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland nominated by then-President Donald Trump, will serve as 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.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Hur's appointment Thursday, shortly after Biden acknowledged 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. Hur is set to begin his work on the investigation soon.
“I am confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department,” Garland said.
Hur's appointment comes as the political ramifications surrounding the investigation intensify. The Justice Department has spent months looking into Trump's retention of more than 300 documents with classification markings found at his Florida estate. That discovery sparked outcry from Biden and other top Democrats, while the developments around Biden have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans.
Hur said Thursday that he won’t be swayed by politics.
“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment,” he said in a statement. “I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favor, and will honor the trust placed in me to perform this service.”
He is taking the job from the top Justice Department prosecutor in Chicago, John Lausch, who was earlier assigned by the department to investigate the matter and who recommended to Garland last week that a special counsel be appointed.
Hur served as U.S. attorney in Maryland from 2018 to 2021, winning unanimous Senate approval after Trump nominated him. Prior to that, Hur was principal associate attorney general under Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He is also a former partner at the Washington law firm King & Spalding, where FBI Director Christopher Wray was once also a partner.
Hur served on Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's special council on gangs and violent criminal networks for three years until 2021 and chaired the governor's Asian-American Hate Crimes Work Group in 2021.
A member of the University of Maryland System's Board of Regents, Hur is also a partner in the Washington office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm and co-chairs its crisis management practice group.
Hur is a graduate of Harvard as well as Stanford Law School, and he studied philosophy at King's College in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist in 2002 and also is a former clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.