President Biden is facing intense scrutiny after batches of classified documents dating from his vice presidency were found in his former think-tank office in Washington and in his Wilmington, Del., home, sparking a Justice Department investigation and prompting Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint Robert K. Hur as special counsel to investigate.
Garland announced the appointment on Jan. 12, two months after he named a different special counsel to oversee the criminal probe of former president Donald Trump’s handling of classified information. The scope of that probe includes the possible hiding, tampering with or destruction of government records.
A week later, an attorney for former vice president Mike Pence discovered “a small number” of documents bearing classified markings during a search of Pence’s Indiana home. Garland and the Justice Department have not yet commented on these documents.
Elected officials’ handling of sensitive government material has been the subject of fierce political debate in recent years — drawing public attention to the way classification, a bureaucratic process that’s a staple in Washington, actually works.