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Biden was interviewed this weekend in special counsel probe into classified documents

President Biden in New York City on Sept. 19, 2023.
Jim Watson
/
AFP via Getty Images
President Biden in New York City on Sept. 19, 2023.

President Biden was interviewed by special counsel Robert Hur as part of the ongoing investigation into the president's handling of classified documents, a spokesperson for the White House Counsel Office said.

"The voluntary interview was conducted at the White House over two days, Sunday and Monday, and concluded Monday," the spokesperson Ian Sams said in a statement. "We would refer other questions to the Justice Department at this time."

A spokesperson for special counsel Hur declined to comment.

The interview occurred during two days where the White House — and Biden — were focused on the ongoing crisis in Israel.

The special counsel investigation began after Biden's lawyers found classified documents in multiple areas in his Delaware residence and in an office in Washington, D.C. The material was reportedly tied to his time as senator and as vice president.

The documents were discovered by the president's personal attorneys who said they notified the National Archives and Records Administration and handed the papers over.

The FBI also conducted searches at the Biden family vacation home in Rehoboth, Del., and uncovered "some materials and handwritten notes" that also appeared to date back to his time as vice president. They were taken by the DOJ for further review.

Hur was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate this matter in January — two months after Special Counsel Jack Smith was appointed to investigate a similar matter involving former President Donald Trump.

That case, notably, resulted in more than three dozen federal criminal charges against Trump and his associates in Florida after boxes of classified material was uncovered at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Trump and his associates have pleaded not guilty.

What's different in Trump's case from Biden's is that prosecutors allege that Trump was personally involved in packing the documents as he left the White House in 2021, bragged about having the secret material and pushed his attorneys to mislead the FBI about what information he had stored at his home.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was also subject of a brief investigation into his handling of classified documents found in his Indiana home. That inquiry was completed in June with no charges filed. A lawyer for Pence had promptly turned the papers over to the government when they were uncovered.

NPR's Ryan Lucas contributed to this story.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.