A conclusion has been reached in the long-running investigation into President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents found stored near his ’67 Corvette in the garage of his Delaware home.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday informed the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the Justice Department completed its inquiry into how 20 pages of documents containing classified information were able to make their way out of the White House during Biden’s time as vice president and into his home. A letter from Garland addressed to Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) states no criminal charges will be filed, according to The Western Journal.
“On February 5, 2024 … Special Counsel [Robert K.] Hur submitted to me his final report accompanied by appendices and a letter from counsel,” Garland wrote.
“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. That included review by the White House Counsel’s Office for executive privilege consistent with the President’s constitutional prerogatives.”
The one-page letter makes no mention was made about whether the information contained in the documents had been declassified.
“The White House’s privilege review has not yet concluded,” Garland explained. “As 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. I will produce to Congress the report, its appendices, and the letter from counsel following completion of the White House’s privilege review.”
A full report by the special counsel appointed by Garland is expected soon, according to a White House spokesperson who spoke with POLITICO.
The controversy erupted in late 2022 when a routine sweep of the Bidens’ home revealed boxes containing the documents, later revealed by the White House to be evidence of a classified nature. An investigation by special counsel Robert Hur grew to encompass as many as 100 witnesses who testified about how Biden and his team were handling classified materials during the final days of the Obama presidency. The probe also included personal testimony by Biden.
Former President Donald Trump, who has been charged with dozens of felonies related to classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago, has railed for months against the lack of similar charges brought against Biden. While it is unlikely for the DOJ to bring criminal charges against a sitting president, the results of Hur’s investigation could still be damaging in an election year, according to Grant Reeher, a professor of political science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
“One of Trump’s recurring lines of defense is the assertion of equivalencies, and this will no doubt play into that as Trump continues to deal with his legal issues,” Reeher told Newsweek. “I would even imagine some narrative to the effect that, if this is what Biden’s own Justice Department produces and concludes, just imagine how bad it really is.”