Good News for Biden in Classified Docs Probe

President not expected to face charges, though he may get a tongue-lashing
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2023 9:53 AM CST
Good News for Biden in Classified Docs Probe
President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference after his meeting with China's President President Xi Jinping at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, Calif., Wednesday, Nov, 15, 2023, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative conference.   (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

President Biden will face "harsh criticism" but no criminal charges over his handling of classified documents, according to a Wall Street Journal report. It meshes with CNN's reporting that, following a year-long investigation, special counsel Robert Hur will issue a report "expected to be critical of Biden and his staff for the way they handled sensitive materials" but is "not expected to charge anyone." Former President Trump, who is facing 40 charges over his handling of classified documents, is likely to criticize the result, along with his supporters. But Biden's aides have said the president, unlike Trump, first informed the National Archives of the discovery of documents and cooperated with Hur's investigation.

Trump, on the other hand, allegedly held on to documents requested by the government and tried to cover up his actions. "There would be no classified documents probe if Trump had simply given back the documents after they were discovered at Mar-a-Lago," says former Justice Department spokesperson Sarah Isgur, now an ABC News contributor. Hur was appointed to investigate in January after classified documents related to Biden's tenure as vice president and senator were found at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, and at an office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC. Hur's team has interviewed 100 of Biden's aides, colleagues, and family members—including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Biden's son, Hunter—and Biden himself, per the Journal.

Congressional Republicans, carrying out their own investigation, have raised questions about Hunter Biden's proximity to the documents stored at the president's home, whose address appeared on Hunter's driver's license at the time, NBC News reports. "Hur appears to have been meticulous in talking to anyone who would have been close to the classified material, in part because of his awareness that his report will be heavily scrutinized across the political spectrum," the Journal reports. The special counsel's report is expected to be completed in the coming months, perhaps by the end of this year. Hur is likely to appear before Congress to answer questions after that time, per the Journal. (More classified information stories.)

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