Attorney General Merrick Garland has detailed the timeline for the investigation into President Joe Biden’s potential mishandling of classified documents.
Here is what he said:
November 4, 2022: The Office of the Inspector General of the National Archives contacted a Justice Department prosecutor that evening. He informed him that the White House had informed the Archives that documents bearing classification marks had been identified at the office of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement located in Washington, DC. This office was not empowered to keep classified documents. The prosecutor was also informed that these documents had been placed in a safe place in an archive facility.
November 9, 2022: The FBI has begun an evaluation under standard protocols to understand whether classified information has been mishandled in violation of federal law.
November 14, 2022: Pursuant to section 600.2B of the Special Advocate Rules, Garland appointed U.S. Attorney John Lausch Jr. to conduct an initial investigation to inform my decision whether or not to appoint a special advocate.
“I chose him to conduct the initial investigation because I was confident his experience would ensure it was conducted professionally and expeditiously,” he said.
December 20, 2022: President Biden’s personal attorney informed Mr. Lausch that additional documents bearing classified marks had been identified in the garage of the president’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware. President Biden’s lawyer informed Mr. Lausch that these documents were among other documents from the president’s period of service as vice president. The FBI went to the scene and secured these documents.
January 5, 2023: Lausch informed Garland of the results of his initial investigation and indicated that further investigation by special counsel was warranted.
“Based on Mr. Lausch’s initial investigation, I have concluded that under the special advocate regulations, it is in the public interest to appoint a special advocate,” Garland said.
In the days that followed, as Mr. Lausch continued the investigation, the department identified Mr. Hur for appointment as special counsel.
This morning, President Biden’s personal attorney called Mr. Lausch and said an additional document bearing classification marks had been identified at the President’s personal residence in Wilmington, Delaware.