President Joe Biden will not face charges from the U.S. Justice Department regarding the handling of classified documents found in his residence and office. However, an investigative report will critique his actions, according to a reliable source on Tuesday.
The investigation was conducted by Special Counsel Robert Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the examination of Biden’s documents. According to an insider, the findings of the investigation may be made public this week.
This development is a relief for Biden as it removes a significant legal and political burden that has been hanging over his reelection campaign, as reported by Time.
In contrast, former President Donald Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is facing serious criminal charges related to possessing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Hur’s task was to thoroughly investigate the discovery of classified documents at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington where he worked after serving as vice president.
This decision is likely to further fuel Trump’s claims that the Justice Department is biased against him. Currently, he faces charges in four separate criminal prosecutions, including two federal cases such as the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.
White House officials argue that the Biden situation is different because his staff willingly surrendered classified documents when they were found and agreed to have his Delaware residence searched.
Garland has given Hur the authority to investigate potential unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records.
The Justice Department previously conducted an investigation into whether Vice President Mike Pence mishandled classified documents but ultimately concluded that there was no basis for pressing charges.
In June, the department sent a letter to Pence’s lawyer stating that he had been cleared in the review.
In November 2022, Attorney General Garland appointed Jack Smith as a special counsel to investigate classified materials discovered at Trump’s Florida residence.
Prosecutors have charged Trump with obstructing efforts by the government to recover unlawfully taken classified material from the White House after his term ended in early 2021.
Biden’s re-election campaign is bracing for a surge of negative consequences following the anticipated publication of photos that expose the careless handling of classified documents.
Advisors to Biden are anxious about potentially embarrassing images that could be included in Hur’s upcoming report, scheduled to be released this week.
These pictures may unveil how Biden stored classified materials, which were discovered in late 2022, both in his Delaware residence garage and a private office he frequently used.
The documents in question date back to Biden’s time as vice president under the Obama administration.
Anthony Coley, a former senior advisor to Garland, criticized the Biden team for their sluggish progress in uncovering evidence related to the case.
“Against the backdrop of former President Trump’s indictment on charges of willful and deliberate retention of classified documents, the Biden team’s drip, drip, drip of information made the discoveries seem even worse,” he wrote in an op-ed.
In a recent development, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed by President Trump and overseeing his classified documents case in Florida, delivered a favorable outcome for Trump’s legal team.
Smith had attempted to compel Trump to disclose files related to his defense strategy for the case, specifically regarding whether he intended to shift blame onto his attorneys as part of his defense.
Legal experts pointed out that such an action would violate attorney-client privilege.
MSNBC’s legal analyst, Katie Phang, noted that Cannon’s decision to reject the request dealt a major setback to Smith.
“Judge Cannon enters an ORDER denying, without prejudice, Special Counsel’s Motion to Compel Disclosure Regarding Advice-of-Counsel Defense,” the expert said. “Cannon says that it’s too early in the litigation to consider forcing Donald Trump to have to disclose this information.”
Cannon’s order read, “Assuming the facts and circumstances, in this case, warrant an order compelling disclosure of an advice-of-counsel trial defense, the Court determines that such a request is not amenable to proper consideration at this juncture, before at least partial resolution of pre-trial motions, transmission to Defendants of the Special Counsel’s exhibit and witness lists, and other disclosures as may become necessary.”
Former US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce Vance, said on X that Cannon will delay the case until after the election and may never allow it to take place.
“In the Mar-a-Lago case, Judge Cannon has just refused to enforce a routine deadline, and it’s entirely clear she has no intention of letting this case go to trial before the election or possibly ever,” she wrote.