The White House stressed that the discussions with the special counsel team were “voluntary”
US President Joe Biden met with federal investigators multiple times in recent days, as the Justice Department seeks to determine how classified documents wound up in Biden’s home and personal office without proper approval.
The president sat down with special counsel Robert Hur to discuss the documents case on Sunday and Monday, the White House confirmed, noting that the interviews had “concluded” and were strictly “voluntary.”
“As we have said from the beginning, the president and the White House are cooperating with this investigation, and as it has been appropriate, we have provided relevant updates publicly,” White House spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement, vowing to be “as transparent as we can” while preserving “the integrity of the investigation.”
The Justice Department launched the documents probe last November, after the president’s lawyers reported that a trove of secret files had been found in one of Biden’s private offices. Additional material was later turned up at Biden’s Delaware home, and in January Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to lead an investigation into “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.”
Hur has reportedly questioned Biden’s “closest aides and advisers” as part of a “quiet inquiry” over the last nine months, including top officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, according to the New York Times.
Investigators have worked to determine the chain of custody for the sensitive documents, and whether Biden’s team “adhered to security protocols in handling and packing up official documents and private notes from his vice presidency,” the outlet added.
Until Monday, it was unclear whether the president would submit for an in-person interview, with the White House declining to comment on the matter previously. Hur’s team has similarly offered few details about the investigation to the public.
The Biden probe coincided with another major classified documents case involving former President Donald Trump, who was indicted on 37 felony counts linked to the alleged mishandling of secret files in June. Federal agents previously raided the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and turned up a large number of classified papers, though Trump maintains he was authorized to possess the documents and denies any wrongdoing.
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