Published On: Thu, Nov 16th, 2023
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Joe Biden avoids charges over classified documents case | US | News

Special counsel Robert Hur is not expected to charge Joe Biden or any of his associates in connection with the mishandling of classified documents at two locations connected to the president, two sources close to the investigation told CNN.

It would bring to an end Hur’s year-long examination into the improper retention of classified documents by Biden from his time as a US senator and as vice president that were found at his Delaware home, as well as at a private office he used after his service in the Obama administration.

Biden said he was unaware he had the documents and that “there’s no there there”.

It’s one less headache for the president as he heads into the coming election but the report is nonetheless expected to go into significant detail about what the special counsel’s office found in its investigation.

Investigators on Hur’s team have told other Justice Department officials that they hope to have the report completed by the end of the year, but that deadline could get pushed back.

Hur was appointed in January to investigate after classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president were found at his former office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC, and at his Wilmington, Delaware, home.

Attorney General Merrick Garland named Hur, a former US attorney for Maryland, to handle the politically sensitive Justice Department inquiry in an attempt to avoid conflicts of interest.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Hur isn’t likely to bring a criminal case. CNN previously reported charges appeared unlikely, according to sources familiar with investigators’ line of questioning, and that there has been no discernible grand jury activity.

The investigation into Biden is separate from special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into the handling of classified documents by former president Donald Trump after he left the White House.

Smith’s team has charged Trump with illegally retaining top secret records at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida and then obstructing government efforts to get them back. Trump has said he did nothing wrong.

No evidence had emerged from Hur’s investigation to suggest that Biden engaged in comparable conduct or willfully held onto records he wasn’t supposed to have.

It comes after about a dozen documents with classified markings were discovered at Mike Pence’s home in January after he asked his lawyers to search his vice presidential belongings “out of an abundance of caution” after the Biden discovery.

The items had been “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home at the end of the last administration, Pence’s lawyer, Greg Jacob, wrote in a letter to the National Archives.

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