US Attorney General Appoints Special Counsel To Probe Classified Documents Found From Biden's Residence, Private Office
Washington, (PTI) US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday announced the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the discovery of classified documents at the private office and residences of President Joseph Biden.
The investigation would be carried out by former career Justice Department prosecutor and former US Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert Hur, Garland announced.
These documents, as recovered from his private office in Washington DC, are from the time when he was the Vice President from 2009 to 2016.
Hur would conduct the investigation of matters that were the subject of the initial investigation by US Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. related to the possible unauthorised removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement and the Wilmington, Delaware, private residence of President Joseph R. Biden Jr, he said.
“Based on Lausch's initial investigation, I concluded that, under the Special Counsel regulations, it was in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel. In the days since, while Lausch continued the investigation, the Department identified Hur for appointment as Special Counsel,” he told reporters at a press conference here.
“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,” Garland said.
Following his appointment, Hur said he will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Immediately thereafter, Richard Sauber, Special Counsel to the President said the White House would extend full cooperation to the investigation.
“As the President said, he takes classified information and materials seriously, and as we have said, we have cooperated from the moment we informed the Archives that a small number of documents were found, and we will continue to cooperate,” he said.
“We have cooperated closely with the Justice Department throughout its review, and we will continue that cooperation with the Special Counsel. We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the President and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake,” Sauber said.
Earlier Biden told reporters at the White House that he takes classified documents and classified material seriously.
“I also said we're cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department's review,” he said in response to a question.
“As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents might of -- from my time as Vice President were stored. And they finished the review last night,” he said.
“They discovered a small number of documents with classified markings in storage areas and in file cabinets in my home and in my personal library. This was done in the case of the Biden Penn -- this was done in the case of the Biden Penn Center,” he added.
“The Department of Justice was immediately notified, and the lawyers arranged for the Department of Justice to take possession of the document. So we’re going to see all this unfold,” Biden said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without any modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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