Who is Robert Hur, special counsel in Biden documents case?

Jan 11, 2023, 10:48 PM | Updated: Jan 12, 2023, 9:40 pm
FILE - U.S. Attorney Robert Hur arrives at U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Nov. 21, 2019. Attor...

FILE - U.S. Attorney Robert Hur arrives at U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Nov. 21, 2019. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, appointed Hur as a special counsel to investigate the presence of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Del., and at an office in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

(AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Hur, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland nominated by then-President Donald Trump, will serve as special counsel to investigate the presence of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware and at an office in Washington.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Hur’s appointment Thursday, shortly after Biden acknowledged that a document with classified markings from his time as vice president was found in his personal library, along with other documents found in his garage. Hur is set to begin his work on the investigation soon.

“I am confident that Mr. Hur will carry out his responsibility in an even-handed and urgent manner, and in accordance with the highest traditions of this department,” Garland said.

Hur’s appointment comes as the political ramifications surrounding the investigation intensify. The Justice Department has spent months looking into Trump’s retention of more than 300 documents with classification markings found at his Florida estate. That discovery sparked outcry from Biden and other top Democrats, while the developments around Biden have drawn sharp criticism from Republicans.

Hur said Thursday that he won’t be swayed by politics.

“I will conduct the assigned investigation with fair, impartial, and dispassionate judgment,” he said in a statement. “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 is a graduate of Harvard as well as Stanford Law School, and he studied philosophy at King’s College in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and also for Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Andrew DeVooght, who worked with Hur when they were both law clerks for Rehnquist, called him an “incredibly good person” and said that, although it sounds trite, the public is lucky that someone like Hur is willing to serve in such an important position.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a better combination of brilliance, work ethic and integrity,” DeVooght said.

Hur served as U.S. attorney in Maryland from 2018 to 2021, winning unanimous Senate approval after Trump nominated him. His predecessor in the post was Rod Rosenstein, who held the position for more than a decade before becoming the Justice Department’s No. 2 during the Trump administration.

Hur is taking the job from the top Justice Department prosecutor in Chicago, John Lausch, who was earlier assigned by the department to investigate the matter and who recommended to Garland last week that a special counsel be appointed.

Prior to becoming U.S. attorney, Hur was principal associate attorney general under Rosenstein at the Justice Department. Hur is also a former partner at the Washington law firm King & Spalding, where FBI Director Christopher Wray was once also a partner.

Stephen McBrady, co-chair of the law firm Crowell & Moring LLP’s Government Contracts Group and a longtime friend, called Hur “one of the smartest people in Washington.”

As U.S. attorney, Hur supervised nearly 90 assistant U.S. attorneys and 72 support personnel. His office led the fraud case against former Democratic Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. She was sentenced in 2020 to three years in prison for arranging fraudulent sales of her “Healthy Holly” books to schools, libraries and a medical system to enrich herself, promote her political career and fund her mayoral run.

“The victims are all of us, the taxpayers and the people of Baltimore, who expect and deserve integrity from their public officials,” Hur said when announcing an 11-count indictment against Pugh in 2019.

Hur served on Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s special council on gangs and violent criminal networks for three years until 2021 and chaired the governor’s Asian-American Hate Crimes Work Group in 2021.

A member of the University of Maryland System’s Board of Regents, Hur is also a partner in the Washington office of the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm and co-chairs its crisis management practice group.

Even going back to his time as a law clerk to Rehnquist, from 2002 to 2003, Hur has dealt with high-profile cases. The year he clerked, the high court struck down a Texas statute criminalizing gay sex, a decision Rehnquist dissented from. In another case the court wrestled with a Virginia law banning cross burning.

The court also decided two important cases on affirmative action, ultimately allowing schools to continue considering race in higher education admissions. This year, the court is considering overturning the decision that allowed that, Grutter v. Bollinger. Rehnquist dissented in that 5-4 case.


Associated Press writer Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

TV anchors T.J. Holmes, Amy Robach leave ABC amid romance

NEW YORK (AP) — T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach, anchors at the afternoon extension of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” are leaving the network after their romance was reported in November. The pair were taken off the air and placed on temporary hiatus after photos surfaced of them holding hands and spending time together. Both were […]
2 days ago
From left, Sweden's Defense Minister Pal Jonson, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Foreign Ministe...
Associated Press

Finnish, Swedish FMs: NATO membership process hasn’t stopped

HELSINKI (AP) — The foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland reiterated in separate interviews published Saturday that the process for the two Nordic nations to join NATO is continuing despite Turkey’s president saying Sweden shouldn’t expect his country to approve its membership. Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billström acknowledged in an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Gregory Allen Howard who wrote ‘Remember the Titans’ dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard, who skillfully adapted stories of historical Black figures in “Remember the Titans” starring Denzel Washington, “Ali” with Will Smith and “Harriet” with Cynthia Erivo, has died. He was 70. Howard died Friday at his home in Miami after a brief illness, according to a statement from publicist […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Delaware Gov. John Carney tests positive for COVID-19

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Delaware Gov. John Carney has tested positive for COVID-19, the governor’s office announced on Saturday. Carney tested positive late Friday using an at-home antigen test after experiencing mild symptoms, according to a news release. Carney, 66, said he’s “feeling fine” and is isolating himself — following U.S. Centers for Disease Control […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Man accused in substation vandalism is released from custody

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help. A federal judge issued the order for Matthew Greenwood, 32, after renewed efforts by his attorney to get Greenwood […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Dismissal of lawsuit over Columbus Day name change upheld

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that the mayor of Philadelphia discriminated against Italian Americans in renaming the city’s Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. A U.S. District judge ruled a year ago that the plaintiffs, a council member and three Italian American […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Who is Robert Hur, special counsel in Biden documents case?