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U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department to announce the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate the discovery of classified documents held by President Joe Biden at an office and his home on January 12, 2023 in Washington, DC. Garland announce that former U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert Hur was appointed as Special Counsel for the investigation. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that a special counsel will be tasked with investigating U.S. President Joe Biden after batches of classified documents were discovered in a private office used by Biden and later at the president’s private residence.

Garland made the announcement at a January 12 press conference in which he noted that classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president to former president Barack Obama had been discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement think tank in Washington, D.C. in November and turned over to the National Archives.

He also mentioned that an additional trove of classified documents were this week recovered from a garage and an adjacent room at Biden’s private residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Earlier today I signed an order appointing Robert Hur as special counsel for the matter I’ve just described,” Garland told reporters Thursday. “The document authorizes him to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter.”

The attorney general explained that Hur “will not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the department,” though he will be required to “comply with the regulations, procedures, and policies.”

Hur, who had been appointed by former president Donald Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in 2018, released a statement after Garland’s announcement promising to “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 added.

Biden has told reporters he is “cooperating fully” with investigators with regard to the files, arguing during a Tuesday press conference in Mexico that “people know I take classified documents or classified information seriously.”

READ: Biden says he’s ‘cooperating fully’ after classified documents recovered from private office

The president also sought to defend himself Thursday when Fox News White House reporter Peter Doocy pushed him to explain why he had stored classified material in his garage next to his sports car.

“Classified material next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?” Doocy asked.

Biden responded by promising to give a further explanation soon, adding, “by the way, my Corvette’s in a locked garage, OK? So, it’s not like they’re sitting out in the street.”

It’s unclear what the classified documents recovered from Biden’s residence contain. At least some of them found in Biden’s private office reportedly contained U.S. intelligence information pertaining to foreign countries.

Citing an unnamed source, CNN reported earlier this week that materials recovered from the office included “U.S. intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom.”

Commentators and political analysts have been quick to observe similarities between the classified documents discovered to be improperly stored by Biden and those recovered in the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home last summer. During the raid, agents seized 11 boxes of documents and other items, including classified materials.

At the time, Biden had reacted by expressing shock and disbelief that the former president “could be that irresponsible.” The words have since come back against him as conservatives ask questions about why Biden was also keeping documents.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Turley, an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School, has raised concerns that, after the discovery of a second batch of documents, classified materials may have been “distributed or divided among different offices,” potentially allowing “an even greater array of individuals” to access “such documents at different locations.”

Conservatives have suggested that the controversy over Biden’s classified documents could scuttle any DOJ ambitions of prosecuting Trump for the same offense.