President Joe Biden was interviewed at the start of the week by the special counsel spearheading the criminal investigation into his handling of classified material.
The investigation is being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur, a Trump-era U.S. attorney who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“The President has been interviewed as part of the investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Hur,” said White House Counsel’s Office spokesperson Ian Sams. “The voluntary interview was conducted at the White House over two days, Sunday and Monday, and concluded Monday.”
“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, being as transparent as we can consistent with protecting and preserving the integrity of the investigation,” the White House claimed. “We would refer other questions to the Justice Department at this time.”
The news comes after federal officials have reportedly interviewed approximately 100 witnesses in their criminal investigation into Biden’s handling of classified material while he was vice president in the Obama administration and while he was a U.S. Senator for the state of Delaware.
ABC News reported last month that the interviews have mainly focused on former Biden aides and military aides and the procedures that were used when handling the material.
The investigation has “apparently uncovered instances of carelessness from Biden’s vice presidency,” the report said, echoing the type of language that was used in the FBI’s decision to not charge Hillary Clinton over her handling of classified material during the 2016 presidential election.
The report said that the witnesses who have been interviewed have made it seem as though “the improper removal of classified documents from Biden’s office when he left the White House in 2017 was more likely a mistake than a criminal act.”
The report noted, though, that the special counsel has not reached a conclusion about whether Biden will be charged and the investigation is not over.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was an aide for Biden, was one the people reportedly interviewed by investigators.
The report added:
Investigators have shown witnesses email chains dating back to at least 2010 and asked for context about those exchanges, sources said. Witnesses have also been pressed about the use of cabinets and safes, sources said. … Sources said investigators are asking witnesses, especially former military aides, granular questions about internal procedures for handling classified materials, apparently seeking to understand the minutiae of how the vice president obtained, consumed, and discarded classified briefing materials.
It has already been reported that some of the documents that were recovered by investigators during a search of Biden’s home were from his time in the U.S. Senate.
The special counsel investigation into Biden has similarities and differences from the special counsel investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified material.
The biggest difference between the two cases is that when classified material was found at Biden’s office and home, investigators were contacted, the documents were recovered, and Biden appears to have complied with the investigation whereas Trump is accused of obstructing his investigation.