Garland appoints special counsel to investigate classified Biden documents

The press conference comes hours after the White House confirmed that a second set of classified documents were discovered in Biden's home.

Updated: January 12, 2023 - 8:15pm

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Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel to investigate the classified documents from Joe Biden's time as vice president.

He said that on Nov. 14 he appointed U.S. Attorney John Lausch, a nominee of former President Donald Trump, to conduct the initial investigation into classified documents found at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. and inform Garland whether a special counsel needed to be appointed. Lausch is leaving for the private sector in 2023 and is unable to take on the role of special counsel.

Biden's former office at the Penn Biden Center was "not authorized for storage of classified documents," Garland said. "The prosecutor had also been advised that those documents had been secured in an archives facility."

Biden's personal attorneys told Lausch on Dec. 20 that additional classified documents were discovered in the garage of the president's home in Wilmington, Delaware, Garland said.  

He also said that on Thursday morning Biden's personal counsel called the Justice Department to say an additional document with classified markings was identified at the Wilmington residence.

Lausch told Garland on Jan. 6 that a special counsel needed to be appointed to probe the matter further, the attorney general said.

Robert Hur, Trump's pick to be the U.S. attorney for Maryland, was appointed as special counsel to continue the investigation.

"I will ensure that Mr. Hur receives all the resources he needs to conduct his work," Garland said.

The press conference comes hours after the White House confirmed that a second set of classified documents were discovered in Biden's home. Earlier this week, officials confirmed that classified records were found on Nov. 2 in Biden's former office at the Penn Biden Center.