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Biden classified document case ends without charges

An independent investigation into classified documents found at the home of President Joe Biden and a think tank office he used has concluded, a letter sent to Congress on Wednesday said, without indication of any criminal charges being brought.

The letter from Attorney General Merrick Garland to congressional leaders did not include a copy of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report, which is being reviewed by a legal privilege team. It provided few details about the investigation and made no mention of charges.

The attorney general said Hur filed his final report Monday and the bulk of it is expected to be made public soon.

“I am committed to making as much of the Special Counsel’s report public as possible, consistent with legal requirements and Department policy,” Garland wrote in the one-page letter.

Garland said the release of the report was waiting on a legal privilege review by Biden’s White House Counsel’s Office.

White House spokesperson Ian Sams said the review should be complete later this week.

The attorney general appointed Hur in January 2023 to conduct an independent investigation into the discovery of classified records in the garage at Biden’s Delaware residence and in files at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.

Hur was named as special counsel about two months after Garland tapped former federal prosecutor Jack Smith to serve as special counsel to investigate the handling of classified documents by former President Donald Trump at his home in Florida and elsewhere.

About 300 classified documents were found at Trump’s home in Palm Beach. There were about 20 at the Biden-related sites.

Hur and his team interviewed Biden over two days in October.

The following month, officials speaking on condition of anonymity said no criminal charges were expected in the case.

Regardless of the findings of Hur’s probe, criminal charges for Biden were unlikely because of longstanding Justice Department legal opinions effectively precluding charges against a sitting president.

The opinions from Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel don’t rule out charges against a former president, however. Trump was hit with such an indictment last June, accusing him of willfully retaining classified information without permission and with obstruction of justice. Further charges were added in July. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has accused Smith of being on a political vendetta.

Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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