Special Counsel Interviewed Biden About Classified Documents - The World News

Special Counsel Interviewed Biden About Classified Documents

President Biden met over the past two days with Robert K. Hur, the special counsel investigating how classified documents improperly ended up at Mr. Biden’s home and an office he used after leaving the vice presidency, the White House disclosed on Monday.

“The voluntary interview was conducted at the White House over two days, Sunday and Monday, and concluded Monday,” Ian Sams, a White House spokesman, said in a statement.

The interview played out amid the dramatic events in the Middle East, as Hamas militants carried out a major attack on Israel and Mr. Biden met with his national security team and consulted with foreign leaders. The interview’s timing had been arranged several weeks ago, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The interview raises the possibility that Mr. Hur is nearing the end of his investigation, which the Justice Department began after Mr. Biden’s lawyers reported that they had found several classified documents mixed in with other papers in a storage closet while packing up an office Mr. Biden had used in between being vice president and running for president.

A search of documents taken to Mr. Biden’s house in Delaware later turned up several more such documents, and in January Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appointed Mr. Hur, a former Trump-era U.S. attorney for Maryland, as a special counsel — a prosecutor with a degree of day-to-day autonomy to handle sensitive investigations — to investigate the matter.

The inquiry has played out against the charged backdrop of another special counsel investigation, into former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of classified documents he took to his Florida club and residence, Mar-a-Lago, and his refusal to give them all back even after being subpoenaed for them.

The prosecutor in that case, Jack Smith, has charged Mr. Trump with unauthorized retention of national security secrets and obstruction, among other counts. By contrast, Mr. Biden’s team has sought to portray itself as being completely cooperative with the investigation.

Mr. Hur’s investigation has played out relatively quietly. Unlike Mr. Trump’s case, there have been no known fights before a grand jury over claims of executive privilege. But Mr. Hur appears to have been exhaustively interviewing everyone with a line of sight onto how the documents were packed up and moved, as well as how Mr. Biden’s team handled their discovery.

In his statement, Mr. Sams said little more, referring further questions to the Justice Department, which has consistently declined to comment on substance of the inquiry.

“As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly, being as transparent as we can consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation,” Mr. Sams said.

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