The investigation into the finding of classified documents at President Biden’s Wilmington home and old private office will be led by former U.S. attorney Robert Hur, the attorney general confirmed on Thursday.
Hur joins Jack Smith, who was chosen in November to lead the investigation into the handling of confidential government papers by former president Donald Trump, as the second special counsel appointed to supervise an inquiry into sensitive documents.
“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment. I intend to follow the facts swiftly and thoroughly, without fear or favor, and will honor the trust placed in me to perform this service,” Hur said in a statement after Garland’s announcement.
Hur was appointed hours after the White House acknowledged finding a second set of papers in Mr. Biden’s Delaware home’s garage. Garland claimed that the FBI started investigating possible misuse of sensitive information a few days after the original batch of documents was discovered in an office Mr. Biden used after stepping down as vice president in early November. Garland stated that on December 20, somebody found the records in Mr. Biden’s garage.
John Lausch, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, was given the initial assignment by the attorney general to look into the handling of the records. He claimed Lausch had last week informed him that hiring a special counsel was necessary, which led him to choose Hur for the position.
“This appointment underscores for the public the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters and to making decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law,” Garland said. “I am confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner and by the highest traditions of this department.”
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Hur held the position of the chief federal prosecutor for Maryland from 2018 to 2021 after being chosen by Trump and receiving unanimous support from the Senate. He was in charge of “setting strategic priorities for and supervising one of the largest and busiest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the nation,” according to a statement from the Justice Department.
Maryland’s outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan called Hur “a prosecutor of the highest caliber and integrity.”
“I have faith in his ability to get the facts and hold power to account,” Hogan said in a statement. “In this country, no one is above the law.”
According to the Justice Department, Hur served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland from 2007 to 2014 and as an associate deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2018. Before that, he served as a top adviser to Christopher Wray, the current director of the FBI, when Wray oversaw the criminal division of the Justice Department and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Since the U.S. attorney in Maryland has authority over cases from a number of top-secret federal agencies, including the National Security Agency, Hur has substantial legal experience handling classified information.
According to the law firm, he is now a partner and focuses on white-collar crime and national security at the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law office in Washington, D.C.
Hogan appointed Asian American Hur to lead an anti-Asian hate crime working committee
Hogan chose Hur, an Asian American, to head a working committee to stop anti-Asian hate crimes in 2021. Hur received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his law degree from Stanford University, where he served as the Stanford Law Review editor.
Hur is referred to as a “lawyer’s lawyer” by Paul Murphy, a partner at the law firm King & Spalding, who has worked with him in private practices and the Justice Department.
“He’s brilliant,” Murphy said in an interview Thursday. “He’s incredibly hardworking and diligent. He’s got excellent judgment. You know, Rob enjoys a stellar reputation within the department and also the defense bar. Rob is objective, even-handed, and will bring what I call a ‘balls and strikes’ approach to his job.”
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Hur has “a wealth of experience,” according to Murphy, both as a prosecutor and a defense lawyer.
“He’s been on both sides of the table, prosecuting cases and defending cases, and so I think that gives him a valuable perspective going into this work that he will be doing,” Murphy said.
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