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Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed attorney Robert Hur to take over a Department of Justice inquiry into the handling of batches of classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s private D.C. office and Wilmington, Delaware, home.
Garland announced his decision to appoint Hur at a press conference on Thursday, one day after news broke of a second batch of classified documents found stashed in the garage and an adjoining room of Biden’s Wilmington home. The first stash consisting of 10 documents was reported earlier this week after being found by a personal attorney of the president in Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.
“I will 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 said in a statement Thursday.
Garland tapped Hur on the recommendation of John Lausch, the U.S. attorney for Chicago. Lausch began a preliminary inquiry into the handling of the documents, reportedly from Biden’s time as vice president, after Garland tapped him on November 14, 12 days after 10 classified documents were found in Biden’s D.C. office on November 2.
Hur is a former federal prosecutor who has worked at the Department of Justice under Democratic and Republican administrations. He will leave his current role as partner at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher where he heads groups specializing in white-collar defense and national security, according to his biography.
Hur last served in government as the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, a post for which he was nominated by former President Donald Trump. He received unanimous approval from the Senate. Hur served as the chief federal prosecutor for Maryland from April 2018 to February 2021 when President Joe Biden asked almost every federal prosecutor picked by Trump to resign.
Prior to serving as U.S. attorney for Maryland, Hur worked in the DOJ as then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s right hand, helping Rosenstein manage the day-to-day activity of the Justice Department and acting as Rosenstein’s “point person” overseeing then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Russian collusion hoax of the 2016 election, Rosenstein told CNN.
Hur “was my point person and he had biweekly meetings with Mueller’s team and then briefed me on the progress of the Russian special counsel investigation,” Rosenstein said. “So he has seen that firsthand and he knows that you need not to be influenced by politics and make decisions based on fact and the law and the Department of Justice policy, and I think we can count on Rob to do that.”
From 2007 to 2014, Hur worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland when Rosenstein had the job as the state’s top federal prosecutor. From 2003 to 2005, Hur worked at the DOJ as counsel and special assistant before serving as counsel to current FBI Director Christopher Wray, then serving as assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division.
Hur attended Harvard College for undergrad before receiving a law degree from Stanford Law School in 2001. He clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski and former Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.