Classified docs at Biden's home were tipping point for a special counsel: Sources

Sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News the December discovery of classified documents inside President Joe Biden's Wilmington, Delaware, home served as a tipping

point in the lead-up to a special counsel. That was the moment, sources said, that it became almost certain in the minds of investigators that an outside prosecutor would

likely have to be appointed to look into Biden apparently retaining sensitive records from his time as vice president. On Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland

announced he had done just that, naming Robert Hur as special counsel and citing the recommendation of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch, who was

reviewing the matter. While it remains unclear if Biden played any role in the classified documents being in his home or if he was personally aware they were there,

sources said their presence meant there would need to be more intensive investigation. MORE: Biden classified documents need to be reviewed for national security risks, Schiff

says It's not unusual for presidents to take classified materials out of the White House while they are in office. But the records at issue were from Biden's vice presidency,

which ended in 2017, his lawyers have said. As one source said, classified documents from Biden's time as vice president being discovered in November at his old office at

the Penn Biden Center -- a Washington, D.C., think tank -- could more quickly be explained away. But additional materials being found at his residence raised the specter of him

having some kind of personal involvement or interest in them being there.