The Justice Department special counsel investigating US President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents has completed his inquiry and a report is expected to be made public soon to Congress and the public, Attorney General Merrick Garland told lawmakers in a letter.
Garland did not detail the conclusions of the report from special counsel Robert Hur, but said he was committed to disclosing as much of the document as possible once the White House completes a review of the document for potential executive privilege concerns.
The yearlong investigation centred on the improper retention of classified documents by Biden from his time as a US senator and as vice president. Documents were found at his Delaware home, and at a private office that he used in between his service in the Obama administration and becoming president.
Politically sensitive investigation
Garland appointed Hur, a former US attorney for Maryland during the Trump administration, to handle the politically sensitive investigation at the same time another special counsel was conducting a separate probe into former President Donald Trump's hoarding of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
The dual appointments were seen as a way to inoculate the Justice Department from claims of bias or conflict of interest. While the Trump investigation resulted in dozens of felony charges against the ex-president last year, the outcome of the Biden probe is expected to be different.
Justice Department policy prohibits the indictment of a sitting president, and unlike in the Trump investigation, no evidence has publicly surfaced of intentional mishandling of government secrets or an effort to prevent the return of classified documents.
The looming conclusion of the investigation had been foreshadowed last fall when Biden sat for a voluntary interview at the White House with Hur's team. Interviews of key subjects in an investigation are often done near the end.