Classified Documents Found in Second Location Associated with Biden

But the inevitable comparison of the Trump documents case with the Biden matter has put new pressure on Mr. Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mr. Biden’s handling of government files. In November, days after Mr. Trump announced his third bid for the presidency, Mr. Garland assigned a special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee the investigation into Mr. Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 attack, and the inquiry into whether he illegally kept classified materials at Mar-a-Lago.

Mr. Lausch’s review is aimed at helping Mr. Garland decide whether to appoint a special counsel, which appears increasingly likely, according to people familiar with the situation.

Mr. Garland has been briefed on the inquiry, according to a person familiar with the situation, though it is unclear if he has made a decision.

If the legal implications of this week’s revelations remain unclear, the political implications are more obvious.

Republicans, eager to move on from the rancor of their recent House leadership fight, hope to spin the Biden matter into an attack that sustains a protracted congressional investigation that damages Mr. Biden and blunts the effects of Mr. Trump’s troubles on the party.

On Tuesday, Representative James Comer, Republican of Kentucky, the chairman of the House oversight committee, asked the archives and the White House Counsel’s Office for correspondence about Mr. Biden’s “failure to return highly classified records from his time as vice president.”

On Wednesday, he took another step in keeping with his promise to hold the Biden administration accountable for what Republicans describe as politicizing federal agencies: pressing the Treasury Department for information about Mr. Biden’s family finances.

Republicans reveled in Wednesday’s disclosure.

“It’s clear that Biden’s staff have no idea how many classified documents are in Biden’s former offices and are desperately looking for them,” Tommy Pigott, the rapid response director of the Republican National Committee, wrote in an email.

Adam Goldman, Charlie Savage and Jim Tankersley contributed reporting.


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