‘I am committed to making as much of the special counsel’s report public as possible,’ Attorney General Merrick Garland said.
Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Hur has concluded his investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents during his time as a U.S. senator and as vice president, according to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
However, Mr. Garland promised lawmakers he would make as much of the report as possible available for the general public in the future. He did not state exactly which date he planned to do so.
Mr. Garland also noted that the special counsel initially submitted the report to his office on Feb. 5 after allowing the Biden administration to review the document.
“Prior to submitting his report to me, Special Counsel Hur engaged with the White House Counsel’s Office and the president’s personal counsel to allow comments on the report,” Mr. Hur wrote in the letter. “That included review by the White House counsel’s office for executive privilege consistent with the president’s constitutional prerogatives.”
The White House’s privilege review has not yet concluded, he said.
Parts of Report to Be Made Public
“As I have made clear regarding each special counsel who has served since I have taken office, I am committed to making as much of the special counsel’s report public as possible, consistent with legal requirements and department policy,” he wrote.
“I will produce to Congress the report, its appendices, and the letter from counsel following the completion of the White House’s privilege review,” Mr. Garland said.
As is required by law, the attorney general also noted in his letter that he did not find Mr. Hur had engaged in any inappropriate or unwarranted conduct during the investigation into President Biden.
Ian Sams, spokesperson for the White House Counsel’s Office, said officials anticipate the privilege review will be completed by the end of the week.
Mr. Hur was appointed by Mr. Garland in January 2023 to oversee the year-long investigation into the possible improper retention of classified documents by President Biden.
Classified Documents Found
The Presidential Records Act, which was passed by Congress in 1978, states that any records created or received by a president as part of his or her “constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties” belong to the U.S. government and should be handed over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) when they leave office. The law also applies to vice presidents.
Classified materials were first discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington in November 2022, just a week before the midterm elections. However, this information was not made public until two months later. President Biden had used the office from mid-2017 until he began his 2020 presidential campaign.
Additional documents were later discovered from President Biden’s time in the Obama administration at his residence in Wilmington, Delaware.
President Biden has consistently maintained he did nothing wrong and vowed to cooperate with investigators throughout the probe, sitting for a voluntary interview in October last year as part of the investigation.
However, news of the classified documents came against the backdrop of investigations into former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents during his presidency.
That probe saw a swarm of FBI agents descend onto President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. The former president is now facing more than 40 charges—including violating the Espionage Act— in connection with that investigation, which is currently overseen by special counsel Jack Smith.
A separate special counsel, David Weiss, is still prosecuting President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, on federal tax and gun charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.