AG says special counsel has finished probe into Biden’s handling of classified docs


Attorney General Merrick Garland has informed the leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that special counsel Robert Hur has concluded his investigation into classified documents found at residences associated with President Joe Biden.

Garland said that Hur had submitted his report to the Justice Department on Monday, and that he remained committed to making “as much of the Special Counsel’s report public as possible.”

The attorney general told congressional leaders that a White House review of its contents for potential executive privilege had not yet been completed.

Hur spent more than a year examining how approximately two dozen sensitive records wound up at Biden’s personal home and office. The records in question date back to Biden’s time as vice president, and at least some include “top secret” markings, the highest level of classification.

Garland appointed Hur as special counsel in January of 2023, after aides to the president discovered a batch of ten documents at the Penn-Biden Center in Washington, D.C., where Biden kept an office after his vice presidency.

A second discovery of additional records in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home precipitated Garland’s decision to assign Hur as special counsel, ABC News reported at the time.

Investigators have since interviewed as many as 100 current and former officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and Hunter Biden, the president’s son. In October, Hur’s team spent two days interviewing Biden himself.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 6, 2024, in Washington.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 6, 2024, in Washington.

Evan Vucci/AP

The White House has emphasized from the beginning that it would cooperate with investigators. Biden himself has repeatedly denied any personal wrongdoing and said he was “surprised” to learn of the documents’ existence.

The Hur investigation has played out quietly against the backdrop of special counsel Jack Smith’s inquiry into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified records, which culminated last year in a 40-count indictment, to which Trump has pleaded not guilty.

Trump has sought to link his circumstances to Biden’s by trying to draw an equivalence between their conduct and calling his prosecution the result of a justice system improperly targeting Republicans.

But records subsequently released by the National Archives indicate that Biden’s legal team cooperated with National Archives officials, whereas federal prosecutors have accused Trump of deliberately withholding records he knew to be classified from investigators with the National Archives and, later, the FBI.

Sources told ABC News that authorities had apparently uncovered instances of carelessness from Biden’s vice presidency, but that — based on what witnesses told investigators — it seemed to them that the improper removal of classified documents from Biden’s office when he left the White House in 2017 was more likely a mistake than a criminal act.



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