Posted originally on the CTH on January 12, 2023 | sundance
During a press conference today, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Robert K Hur as Special Counsel to investigate the Joe Biden classified documents that were removed from the White House during President Obama’s term in office (2009 through January 2017). The timeline given by AG Garland does not match up with prior DOJ statements and lawyers representing Joe Biden.
[SOURCES: DOJ Video Here – AG Garland Transcript Here – AG Press Release Here]
The timeline as described by AG Merrick Garland:
♦ Nov 4, 2022 – National Archives notifies DOJ of classified documents located at Penn-Biden Center
♦ Nov 9, 2022 – Garland instructs FBI to conduct assessment of classified documents and investigate
♦ Nov 14, 2022 – Garland instructs USAO Laush to conduct investigation of events and documents
♦ Dec 20, 2022 – Biden Lawyers tell USAO Laush of additional classified documents in Delaware
♦ Jan 5, 2023 – USAO Lausch briefs AG Garland and recommends a special counsel be appointed
♦ Jan 12, 2023 – Biden Lawyers inform Lausch/Garland additional documents found in Delaware
♦ Jan 12, 2023 – Garland appoints Special Counsel Robert Hur
If the FBI began investigating on November 9th, and USAO Lausch began investigating on November 14th, then why was it Joe Biden lawyers informing Laush of additional classified documents found in Delaware on December 20th? Why did the FBI and Lausch not find them?
Why was it Joe Biden Lawyers informing USAO Lausch on January 12th about the third batch of classified documents? Again, where was the FBI and John Lausch?
Nothing about this timeline as described by AG Garland makes sense when contrast with the lawyers from Joe Biden saying earlier today, the Biden team was still doing a classified document search through “last night.”
From AG Merrick Garland remarks (emphasis mine):
[Transcript] […] “On the evening of November 4, 2022, the National Archives Office of Inspector General contacted a prosecutor at the Department of Justice. It informed him that the White House [Counsel] had notified the Archives that documents bearing classification markings were identified at the office of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, located in Washington, D.C. That office was not authorized for storage of classified documents. The prosecutor was also advised that those documents had been secured in an Archives facility.
On November 9, the FBI commenced an assessment, consistent with standard protocols, to understand whether classified information had been mishandled in violation of federal law.
On November 14, pursuant to Section 600.2(b) of the Special Counsel regulations, I assigned U.S. Attorney Lausch to conduct an initial investigation to inform my decision whether to appoint a Special Counsel.
Mr. Lausch has served as the U.S. Attorney in Chicago since 2017. Before that, he spent more than a decade as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in that same office. I selected him to conduct the initial investigation because I was confident his experience would ensure that it would be done professionally and expeditiously.
On December 20, President Biden’s personal counsel informed Mr. Lausch that additional documents bearing classification markings were identified in the garage of the President’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware. President Biden’s counsel informed Mr. Lausch that those documents were among other records from the period of the President’s service as Vice President. The FBI went to the location and secured those documents.
On January 5, 2023, Mr. Lausch briefed me on the results of his initial investigation and advised me that further investigation by a Special Counsel was warranted. Based on Mr. Lausch’s initial investigation, I concluded that, under the Special Counsel regulations, it was in the public interest to appoint a Special Counsel. In the days since, while Mr. Lausch continued the investigation, the Department identified Mr. Hur for appointment as Special Counsel.
This morning [January 12, 2023], President Biden’s personal counsel called Mr. Lausch and stated that an additional document bearing classification markings was identified at the President’s personal residence in Wilmington, Delaware. [More]
The timeline doesn’t make sense. What was the FBI and John Lausch doing for two months? Something is not adding up.
Also, you don’t appoint a Special Counsel on the day it is announced. There had to be some discussion with Robert Hur in the lead up to the announcement today.
We still don’t know what the classified documents were about, how old they are, or how many of them exist. The only thing confirmed is the documents pertain to the timeline of the Obama-Biden administration which was January 2009 through January 2017.
The Penn-Biden Center didn’t exist until 2018, so where were the classified documents between the time they were taken and the time they were discovered in the office.
As Vice President Joe Biden had no authority to declassify government documents and could not possess classified documents.
So many questions…. Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe gives a good summary of some main issues.