Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Robert K. Hur as special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents found at a former office and the Delaware home of President Biden, an extraordinary development that comes two months after Garland named a different special counsel to oversee the criminal probe of former president Donald Trump’s handling of classified information.
Biden’s lawyers have said they quickly turned all the classified documents over to authorities and have cooperated fully with the appropriate government agencies. Trump, in contrast, resisted government entreaties to hand over official documents for months, including after a grand jury subpoena demanded the return of any material marked classified.
Elected officials’ handling of sensitive government material has been the subject of fierce political debates since at least 2016, when Trump made a Justice Department investigation of the use of a private email server by his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, central to his presidential campaign.
Here are the basics of what’s going on with Biden: