President Biden’s 2024 re-election team members are worried that a Justice Department report on his retention of classified documents will unearth “embarrassing details,” according to a new report.
Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped special counsel Robert Hur to investigate the matter on Jan. 12, 2023, following FBI searches of Biden’s post-vice presidency Washington, DC, office and Delaware mansion for the sensitive files.
More than a year later, the Biden camp anticipates Hur’s team will release its final report on the classified documents inquiry as soon as this week, with information and photos that could complicate the president’s re-election effort, Axios reported.
A spokesman for the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At least a dozen classified files were discovered by Biden’s attorneys at his Penn Biden Center think tank office in the nation’s capital on Nov. 2, some of which related to the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Iran.
The discovery was not disclosed until after the midterm elections, in which Democrats overperformed expectations. Biden’s personal attorney found more intelligence files in the library and garage of the president’s Wilmington, Del., home that December.
The FBI searched the office, home and Biden’s Rehoboth Beach residence between November 2022 and February 2023, and additional classified documents in the Wilmington location.
First son Hunter Biden had access to the files kept next to his dad’s 1967 Corvette Stingray, according to photos on found on his abandoned laptop that were taken the same day he sent a threatening text to a Chinese associate that invoked his father to close a seven-figure business deal on July 30, 2017.
Another photo Hunter snapped earlier that year showed a box labeled “Important Doc’s [sic] + Photos.” It’s unclear what it contained, but some reports said the elder Biden may have kept materials to inform his 2017 memoir, “Promise Me, Dad.”
Biden, 81, has dismissed the scandal as a fight over “stray papers,” saying the files were kept “in a locked garage” and that he is fully “cooperating” with Hur’s investigation.
The president sat for a “voluntary” interview in October, and his son was interviewed the following month as part of that probe, which has reportedly involved more than 100 witnesses.
House Republicans are currently conducting an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden for evidence that he abused his office as vice president or personally benefited from Hunter’s influence-peddling schemes with foreign entities.
The House Oversight Committee has scheduled interviews with Hunter and first brother James Biden for later this month that are expected to shed further light on the extent of their overseas business entanglements, which raked in more than $17 million for the first family and their associates during and immediately after Joe’s time in the Obama White House.
Special counsel Jack Smith indicted former President Donald Trump in June 2023 for having also retained sensitive material at his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving office in January 2021 — and then lying to federal authorities who sought the information.
Smith has charged Trump, 77, with 40 counts of keeping US intelligence files even from his own attorney, some of which were marked “top secret,” and enlisting his valet and a resort employee to help him conceal the documents from the Justice Department and FBI.
The National Archives repeatedly requested the former president hand back hundreds of the documents before referring the matter to the Justice Department in early 2022.
Federal prosecutors subsequently empaneled a grand jury and authorized an FBI search of Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., residence on Aug. 8, 2022, which turned up 102 classified documents that had not been provided voluntarily.
Photos released as part of the indictment showed boxes of the materials stored in a ballroom, bedroom, bathroom and basement storage facility with an immediate entrance to the outside “that was often kept open,” according to prosecutors.
Trump’s former attorney had certified to the Justice Department months earlier that all of the sensitive intelligence material had been turned over, unaware that some boxes containing the documents were hidden from him.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon has currently scheduled a trial date for May 20, 2024, in the Southern District of Florida.