The Trump-appointed US attorney examining President Biden’s handling of classified material from his time as vice president has submitted his preliminary report on the matter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to a report.
Chicago US Attorney John Lausch has also briefed Garland on the situation multiple times, CNN reported Tuesday. No additional briefings are planned, according to the outlet.
Lausch was tasked by Garland to head up the initial probe into the 80-year-old president’s storage of 10 classified documents in a closet at the Biden Penn Center think tank in Washington.
With Lausch’s report submitted, Garland is now expected to decide whether or not to open a criminal investigation, appoint a special counsel, or consider the matter closed.
The documents, discovered in a private office at Biden’s namesake think tank by his personal lawyers on Nov. 2, 2022, reportedly date back to between 2013 and 2016 and include US intelligence memos and briefing materials on Ukraine, Iran, and the United Kingdom, according to CNN.
They were found among other papers in three or four boxes also containing material that falls under the Presidential Records Act of 1978 — which requires White House records to be turned over to the National Archives at the end of each presidency.
CNN reports that the vast majority of the items in the office were Biden family documents, such as Beau Biden’s funeral arrangements and condolence letters.
It is unknown who oversaw the storage of the documents at the Penn Biden Center and whether Garland learned of the documents before or after Nov. 18, when he appointed veteran prosecutor Jack Smith to serve as special counsel to investigate 76-year-old former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents and helm separate probes of Trump’s effort to challenge the results of the 2020 election.
Biden was critical of Trump’s handling of classified material after his presidency, telling CBS’s “60 Minutes” in September of last year that his predecessor was “totally irresponsible” for keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club and residence.