Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed an independent counsel to investigate President Joe Biden on Thursday.
Biden, who has recently been embroiled in a swirl of controversy over his alleged mishandling of sensitive records during his tenure as vice president, has had a public relations nightmare arising from these materials.
Garland said that he had chosen Robert Hur to examine Biden’s handling of sensitive documents discovered at the president’s house in Delaware and an office in Washington, D.C., shortly after he left office as vice president.
“Earlier today, I signed an order appointing Robert Hur as special counsel for the [issue with the classified documents] I’ve just described,” Garland said. “The document authorizes him to investigate if any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter.”
Notable, Garland did not hold back while discussing the documents discovered in the D.C. office building.
“That office was not authorized for storage of classified documents.”
The first batch of sensitive documents was discovered on November 2 in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Biden Center.
Biden had previously kept an office there following the conclusion of his vice presidential tenure.
Concerningly, the second batch of classified documents was discovered “in a storage place in the garage” of Biden’s mansion in Wilmington, Delaware.
Wednesday during the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico, the president brought up the subject of the first batch of secret papers.
Biden stated, “People know I take classified documents and classified information seriously,”
“When my lawyers were clearing out my office at the University of Pennsylvania, they set up an office for me — a secure office in the Capitol, when I — the four years after being vice president, I was a professor at Penn.
“They found some documents in a box — you know, a locked cabinet, or at least a closet. And as soon as they did, they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done: They immediately called the Archives — immediately called the Archives — turned them over to the Archives.”
Notably, Biden’s comments only concern the first set of documents found in his garage; the second batch has not yet been reported on.
While Biden stated that the confidential materials discovered in Delaware were stored in a “locked garage,” the recurrence of events was certainly sufficient for Garland to intervene.
DOOCY: "Classified materials, next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?"
BIDEN: "My Corvette's in a locked garage, okay? So it's not like they're sitting out on the street." pic.twitter.com/w3D7THLxah
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 12, 2023
“The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter. 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. “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. Thank you all.”
Garland did not accept questions during his statement, despite the fact that the video clearly captures a reporter at the end of the episode asking if Garland had personally discussed this probe with Vice President Biden.