On Thursday, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-CA), who once infamously suggested that the island of Guam might “tip over and capsize” from overpopulation, floated a conspiracy theory surrounding the documents found at a Biden think tank and one of President Joe Biden’s homes.
“My response to it all is that alleged classified documents showing up allegedly in the possession of Joseph Biden, you know, I mean, there’s so much that needs to be investigated,” Johnson said to a Fox News reporter when asked about the scandal. “And that’s, that’s what I called for is for everything to be investigated, but I’m suspicious of the timing of it.”
“I’m also aware of the fact that things can be planted on people, places and things can be planted, things can be planted in places and then discovered conveniently, that may be what has occurred here,” he claimed. “I’m not ruling that out.”
“But I don’t, I’m open in terms of the investigation needs to be investigated,” he added.
The investigation began sometime after Biden’s personal attorney found 10 classified documents stashed in an envelope in the president’s office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington.
The attorney discovered the envelope on November 2, just six days before the midterm elections, though the discovery was not made public until earlier this week. Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said on Monday that the documents were immediately turned over to the National Archives for storage.
Sauber said in a subsequent statement that a review of Biden’s known offices, quarters and other spaces turned up a second set of classified documents at the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, according to The New York Times.
In response to the growing controversy, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that he had appointed a special counsel to further investigate the matter, bringing in former U.S. Attorney Robert Hur, who served during the Trump administration, to serve as special counsel in the investigation.
The announcement comes after John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, was assigned to do an initial review of the case after which he recommended to Garland that a special counsel be appointed.
“On January 5th, 2023, Mr. Lausch briefed me on the results of his initial investigation and advised me that further investigation by a special counsel was warranted. Based on Mr. Lausch’s initial investigation, I concluded that, under the special counsel regulations, it was in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said. “In the days since, while Mr. Lausch continued the investigation, the department identified Mr. Hur for appointment as special counsel.”
The order signed by Garland said that Hur would investigate “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered.”
“The document authorizes him to investigate whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with this matter,” Garland said at the press conference. “The special counsel will not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the department, but he must comply with the regulations, procedures and policies of the department.”
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