The Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland on Thursday, January 12, appointed a special counsel tasked with probing classified papers discovered at President Biden’s home in Delaware and at an office in Washington.
Garland said Robert Hur, a New York-born lawyer who formerly served as the U.S. Attorney in Maryland and worked in the Trump administration, would receive “all the resources he needs” to investigate the documents.
“I strongly believe that the normal processes of this department can handle all investigations with integrity,” Garland said at a brief news conference.
“But under the regulations, the extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter.”
Garland said the appointment displayed the Justice Department’s “commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
The announcement came hours after the White House acknowledged on Wednesday and Thursday the discovery of classified papers from Biden’s time as vice president — in the garage and an adjacent room in his home in Wilmington, Delaware.
That discovery came after government documents were found in Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington in November, according to the White House.
The papers were found by Biden’s lawyers, and the Justice Department was informed “immediately” in both cases, said a statement from Richard Sauber, Biden’s special counsel.
Garland has now authorized special counsels to probe both Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, with both investigations revolving around classified materials.
In November, Garland appointed Jack Smith, a veteran prosecutor, to lead inquiries into Trump’s treatment of classified documents and his role inspiring the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.