US Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate the case of President Joe Biden’s handling of documents classified as “classified”.
Accordingly, Robert Hoare, a former senior official in the Department of Justice during Trump’s presidency, is tasked with investigating the Biden documents case.
Classified documents were recently found at Biden’s home and in an office he used after leaving office as vice president.
The US Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation.
According to the White House, the documents were found in the garage of Biden’s home in Delaware.
The documents contain records dating back to the administration of former President Obama, when Biden was serving as his deputy, according to a statement by Biden’s special adviser, Richard Sauber.
Informed sources who spoke to CBS, the BBC’s partner in the United States, said that the Justice Department’s investigation included questioning a number of witnesses believed to have knowledge of the way the classified documents were handled.
President Biden’s special adviser said the latter is cooperating fully with the Department of Justice to ensure that the relevant documents reach the US National Archives.
The discovery of the documents caused political embarrassment to President Biden. This coincided with investigations into allegations that former President Trump misused classified files.
Last August, FBI agents searched a home belonging to Trump in Florida, and confiscated about 10,000 documents that the former head of the National Archives did not hand over.
On Thursday morning, Biden told reporters, officials were notified by his lawyers immediately after the discovery of the first batch of documents at the Ben Biden Center in November.
Biden added that the additional documents that were found were locked in a garage next to his 1960s Chevrolet Corvette sports car, and “they (the documents) were not dumped in the street.”
“People know that I take classified material very seriously,” Biden said.
Biden noted that his lawyers returned to other places where the documents were stored during his tenure as Vice President between 2009 and 2017, after finding the first batch of documents. Biden confirmed that his lawyers completed the job on Wednesday evening.
Biden now faces questions about whether the newly discovered documents contain sensitive information that could endanger national security.
Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy noted the timing of announcing the discovery of the documents.
McCarthy said: “They knew about the documents before the election, but they kept it a secret and hid it from the American public.”
As James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said, “Democrats no longer have one-party rule, so accountability will come.”
The committee launched investigations into the president and his family, including a request for the White House to turn over documents and communications made regarding the documents.
Under US law, access to any classified documents is limited to authorized persons, and there are rules governing how they are kept and stored.
It is assumed that all White House documents, including confidential documents, will be returned to the National Archives in the United States, after the termination of any presidential administration and its departure.