Attorney General Merrick Garland named former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as a special counsel to review the storage of sensitive documents discovered in spaces used by President Biden during the years preceding his return to the White House, reports Politico. “The extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Garland said. “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’s decision underscores the gravity of the discoveries, which included one set of documents found at an office space Biden used and another found in the garage of his home in Wilmington, De. The Justice Department had already appointed special counsel Jack Smith to look into former President Trump’s handling of classified material at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, as well as other matters.
Biden officials have not characterized the content of the records they found or the quantity, other than describing it as a “small number.” They have pledged to cooperate with authorities. On Nov. 2, Biden lawyers found sensitive documents at the Penn Biden Center in Washington and notified the Justice Department. On Dec. 20, Biden’s team notified DOJ of a second batch of documents in Biden’s Wilmington garage. On Thursday, they informed the department of another document found in Biden’s house. Hur is leaving his role as a partner at the Gibson Dunn law firm. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Hur served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Hur went on to spend about seven years as a line federal prosecutor in Maryland. He later was the top adviser to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump tapped Hur to take the U.S. Attorney position that Rosenstein vacated, serving as the top federal prosecutor in Maryland. Under a longstanding Justice Department legal opinion, a sitting president cannot be charged with a federal crime.