Biden not likely to be charged in documents probe -WSJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden is not likely to be charged in the special counsel investigation into his handling of classified documents, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Special Counsel Robert Hur is expected to release a report in the next couple of months, potentially before the end of this year, and it is expected to be sharply critical of the handling of the documents by Biden and his aides, the Journal reported.

The special counsel's office declined to comment on the report. White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in January named Hur as special counsel to look into the improper storage of classified documents at Biden's Wilmington, Delaware, home and at a Washington think tank office set up for Biden after his 2009-2017 vice presidency.

Biden was interviewed last month as part of the investigation.

Biden has said he was surprised by the discovery of classified materials and expected it would eventually be deemed inconsequential. His team has said they have cooperated with the investigation.

A wider-ranging inquiry into the handling of classified documents has been directed at Biden's main Republican potential rival for the 2024 election, former President Donald Trump.

Trump was criminally indicted in that case, one of several legal cases against the former president, with the federal documents case in Miami set to go to trial in May. Trump has denied wrongdoing.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)