April 24, 2024

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US attorney general to investigate Pres. Biden over mishandling of classified documents

US President Joe Biden. Photo from Joe Biden FB

US president Joe Biden is reportedly investigated over the mishandling of two batches of classified documents when he was the Vice President. The US attorney general was named an independent prosecutor Thursday to investigate the president.

The secret papers was discovered in the garage of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where he often spends weekends, the White House said.

According to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Robert Hur, an appointee of former US president Donald Trump  is tasked to examine whether the cache violated any law.

“Under the regulations, the extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel,” Garland, who runs the Justice Department, said.

Republicans in the US Congress who accused the White House of a cover-up over, swiftly announced their own inquiry to run independently of the criminal probe.

The latest disclosures have driven comparisons to the special counsel investigation of Trump’s hoarding of hundreds of classified materials at his Florida beachfront home and his alleged obstruction of government efforts to get those materials back.

President Joe Biden delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

“I take classified documents and classified material seriously. We’re cooperating fully (and) completely with the Justice Department’s review,” Biden told reporters.

“As part of that process, my lawyers reviewed other places where documents from my time as vice president were stored, and they finished the review last night.” Pres. Biden said

The president also said that a “small number” of documents with classified markings had been found in storage areas and his library and that the Justice Department was notified immediately.

During a White House media briefing, the US president declined to take shouted questions from the press. But s White House lawyer said later the documents had been “inadvertently misplaced.”

A former assistant US attorney, Robert Hur, worked in the DOJ from 2007 until 2014 and returned to public service under Trump as the principal associate deputy attorney general. He promised a swift investigation and vowed to be “fair, impartial and dispassionate.”

The first cache of Biden documents was reportedly uncovered a week before last year’s midterm elections but the White House only acknowledged it last Monday which prompted allegations from Republicans that it was hidden for party political reasons.

Rep. James Comer, head of the powerful House oversight committee in statement said he would lead an investigation into the “mishandling of classified documents and the Swamp’s efforts to hide this information.”

“There are many questions about why the Biden administration kept this matter a secret from the public, who had access to the office and the residence, and what information is contained in these classified documents,” he said.

Former Pres. Donald Trump, who is facing multiple criminal and civil probes, took to his Truth Social platform calling for an immediate end to the investigation against him “because I did everything right.”

Some legal analysts pointed out huge differences between the cases of Biden and Trump, in particular over the size of the huge pile of documents that Trump had stored at his residence after leaving the White House back in 2021.

The FBI reportedly hauled around 11,000 papers after serving a search warrant in August.  Trump will probably face obstruction of justice charges after spending months resisting efforts to recover this materials.  

On the contrary, the White House has been cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice.

Moreover, the White House counsel’s office said that after the first batch of Biden documents was uncovered at his former office last November, his lawyers turned this documents to the National Archives, which handles all such materials, Biden’s lawyers then looked to other possible locations for any other stray documents.

During a press briefing, Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and White House reporters got into an exchange of words which sought to know if she was aware of any discussions in the White House about delaying public disclosure of the original discovery.

Jean-Pierre refused to answer which prompted a CBS News reporter to shoot back that Biden, which early in his presidency to acknowledge and correct mistakes.

“We don’t need to have this kind of confrontation. Ask your question and I will answer them the best that I can,” Jean-Pierre said.