Attorney General Merrick Garland has reportedly assigned US attorney in Chicago John Lausch to review documents marked classified from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president found last fall in a private office, the Associated Press reported.

The classified documents were discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington. The FBI is also involved in the US attorney’s inquiry, CBS News reported.

The documents were found by Biden’s lawyers in November while closing out the Washington, DC-based office, which the president used as part of his relationship with the University of Pennsylvania. Biden was an honorary professor at the university from 2017 to 2019. 

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“The White House is cooperating with the National Archives and the Department of Justice regarding the discovery of what appear to be Obama-Biden Administration records, including a small number of documents with classified markings,” Richard Sauber, special counsel to President Biden, said in a statement. “The documents were discovered when the President’s personal attorneys were packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C. The President periodically used this space from mid-2017 until the start of the 2020 campaign. On the day of this discovery, November 2, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office notified the National Archives. The Archives took possession of the materials the following morning.”

Who is John Lausch?

John R. Lausch Jr, is currently serving as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. He previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois from 1999 to 2010.

He is a Trump appointee, one of two presidentially appointed attorneys kept on by the Biden administration. 

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Lausch received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law. He clerked for Michael Stephen Kanne of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

During his time in the US Attorney’s Office, he served as a Deputy Chief in the Narcotics and Gangs Section for several years. He helped lead the District’s Anti-Gang and Project Safe Neighborhoods programs.