On Thursday (January 12), Robert Hur was appointed special counsel to investigate the classified documents from the Obama-Biden administration President Joe Biden held in a private office following his tenure as Vice President.
Attorney General Merrick Garland made the appointment after NBC News revealed that a second batch of classified documents was found in Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence’s garage.
On Thursday morning, Biden informed the Department of Justice that a third classified document was found in his Delaware home.
While announcing the appointment of the special counsel, Garland indicated that it was a necessary step given the “extraordinary circumstances.”
The Attorney General explained that Hur’s appointment conveyed to the public the Department of Justice’s “commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
Hur, the former U.S. Attorney in Maryland, was a Trump appointee.
Hur’s investigation into the classified documents will assess “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents” by Biden.
The move to appoint Hur comes as conservatives and former President Donald Trump’s allies have insisted that Garland treat Trump and Biden similarly.
A special counsel, Jack Smith, was appointed to oversee the investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified information after the FBI discovered hundreds of classified documents as they searched and seized Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Garland’s appointment of Hur also suggests that the DOJ is caving to public pressure, given the initial batch of Biden documents was discovered on November 2, 2022, six days before the midterm elections. The department was notified of the discovery on November 4, 2022.
The White House wasn’t transparent about the documents for months, only confirming that such a discovery was made after CBS News broke the story.