The Justice Department’s special counsel investigating how President Joe Biden handled Obama-era classified materials is expected to release his final report in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, which is likely to include “harsh criticism” of the president—but is not expected to result in any criminal charges being brought.
Robert Hur was appointed in January to oversee the investigation into Biden after classified materials from the Obama administration were found in the president’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and at Biden’s Delaware home.
Hur, whom former President Donald Trump previously appointed as a U.S. attorney, is expected to release his report on the investigation in the “next couple of months” and potentially before the end of the year, the Journal reports citing anonymous sources.
The report is expected to be “sharply critical” of Biden and his aides’ handling of the classified documents, but Hur’s investigation “isn’t likely to result in a criminal case,” according to the Journal.
Hur has interviewed more than 100 of Biden’s personal and professional associates as part of his probe, according to the Journal—including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain—and the president himself met with prosecutors in October.
The White House and Justice Department have not yet responded to requests for comment.
Hur is one of three special counsels leading investigations right now at the Justice Department, along with Special Counsel Jack Smith, who’s leading the federal government’s two criminal cases against Trump, and David Weiss, who’s investigating the president’s son Hunter Biden and has brought criminal charges against him. Trump has been indicted on felony charges for his handling of White House documents that were stored at Mar-A-Lago after he left office, but many of the allegations against him center on his alleged unwillingness to cooperate with prosecutors when they asked for classified materials back, including allegedly concealing documents to avoid complying with a subpoena. The White House has argued Biden’s case is different, as the president and his team have cooperated with prosecutors and immediately handed over all documents in the president’s possession to the government when they were found.
The DOJ launched its investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents in November 2022, reportedly searching Biden’s office for documents after materials were found there. The White House did not publicly disclose that documents from the Obama administration were found in Biden’s office until January, later revealing that materials had also been found at his Delaware home and DOJ investigators had also conducted a search there. The president expressed surprise that he had possession of the documents in a January press conference, saying aides had found them in a locked cabinet when they were cleaning out his office and he didn’t know the contents of the documents. Republicans have criticized the episode given the harsh scrutiny—and later, criminal charges—that Trump has faced for similarly having possession of White House materials after leaving office, even though the two cases differ in how Trump and Biden dealt with prosecutors and in the number of documents found. (Biden reportedly only had a small number of documents, while investigators have recovered more than 300 classified materials and more than 11,000 total White House documents from Mar-A-Lago.) In addition to Trump and Biden, former Vice President Mike Pence was also investigated by the DOJ for classified documents found at his home. The agency wrapped up its probe into Pence in June without bringing any charges.
In addition to Hur’s investigation, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have also launched a probe into Biden’s handling of classified materials, which remains ongoing. Lawmakers have asked for the White House to turn over information regarding the recovered classified documents, and committee chair Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) sent a letter to Hur after the special counsel interviewed Biden asking for information about his testimony. The White House has criticized the GOP probe, the Journal notes, with spokesperson Ian Sams saying, “Instead of doing their jobs to fund the government and avoid yet another extreme and dangerous government shutdown of their own making, House Republicans are focused on a baseless fishing expedition just to try to smear the president for political purposes.”
Biden Expected to Face Harsh Criticism in Classified-Document Probe (Wall Street Journal)
Prosecutor Questioned Biden About Classified Documents (Forbes)
More Biden Classified Documents Found: Here’s What We Know About The Investigation So Far (Forbes)
Biden: ‘I Don’t Know’ Contents Of Classified Documents Found In Private Office (Forbes)
Who Is Robert Hur, The Special Counsel Investigating Biden’s Classified Documents? (Forbes)