White House has nothing to say about Trump raid 20 hours later aside
White House STILL has nothing to say about Trump raid 20 hours later aside: Karine Jean-Pierre dodges questions on FBI search, refuses to comment on DOJ being ‘weaponized’ and only confirms Biden was not warned
- White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not comment on the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago that happened the day before
- At least a dozen times on Tuesday, she declined to comment
- ‘We’re not going to comment from here from this White House on a criminal investigation that is currently happening,’ she said
- She said President Biden had no head’s up on the raid
- ‘The President was not briefed,’ she said and ‘was not aware of it’
- ‘No one at the White House was given a heads up,’ she added
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, at least a dozen times on Tuesday, declined to comment on the federal raid into Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
She repeatedly said she would not comment on FBI agents entering the former president’s private residence and would only say that President Joe Biden had no head’s up from the Justice Department that the raid was coming.
‘The President was not briefed,’ she said and ‘was not aware of it.’
‘No one at the White House was given a heads up,’ she added.
In response to repeated questions, Jean-Pierre said over and over again the White House would not comment on the raid that had happened the day before.
‘We’re not going to comment from here from this White House on a criminal investigation that is currently happening,’ she said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, at least a dozen times on Tuesday, declined to comment on the federal raid into Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden had no head’s up on the raid at Mar-a-Lago; ‘The President was not briefed,’ she said, noting ‘no one at the White House was given a heads up’
She refused to answer questions on the political implications of the raid.
Republicans charge politics at play with the raid coming as Trump is considering another run for the White House and the 2022 midterm election, which will determine control of Congress, about 90 days away.
The Monday raid at Mar-a-Lago was reported to be part of an investigation into whether Trump took classified documents with him when he left the White House.
The Justice Department and the FBI have repeatedly declined to comment.
Jean-Pierre refused to say whether Biden wanted Attorney General Merrick Garland to explain publicly the rationale for the search amid the concerns about politicization of the probe.
‘The Justice Department conducts investigations independently and we leave any law enforcement matters to them,’ she said. ‘We are not involved.’
Jean-Pierre said Biden learned of the raid from ‘public reports’ but wouldn’t give any more specifics. And she emphasized Biden’s committment to keep the Justice Department independent of the White House. Trump was criticized for trying to influence DoJ investigations as president.
‘The president in the White House learned about this FBI search from public reports we learned just like the American public did yesterday, and we did not have advance notice of this activity. President Biden has been very clear from before he was elected president and throughout his time in office at the Justice Department conducts its investigations independently,’ she said.
She didn’t answer when asked if Garland approved the raid.
‘I don’t have anything more to share,’ she said. ‘We have not been briefed on this.’
Republicans rushed to the former president’s defense.
Mike Pence, who was vice president under Trump and is a potential 2024 rival, tweeted Tuesday: ‘Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our system of justice and Attorney General Garland must give a full accounting to the American people as to why this action was taken and he must do so immediately’
Eric Trump told Fox News that Biden’s White House was the force behind the raid.
‘This didn’t come from a local FBI field office in Palm beach, Florida. You know this came from? This came from one place and one building, and that is the White House in Washington, D.C. They want to attack a guy who they view as his greatest threat, Biden’s greatest threat,’ Eric Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night.
Trump, in his lengthy statement on Monday night blasting the raid, called it ‘prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.
The Justice Department wouldn’t say whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search.
The FBI gave US Secret Service agents at Mar-a-Lago advance notice and they cooperated letting them into the property, NBC News reported. The Secret Service agents but did not take part in investigation or search.
This meant the FBI did not have to break into the property or bust down any doors.
A search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected but it would have to be court authorized.
Garland and his DoJ are under heavy political pressure of their own – from Democrats who want the former president indicted to Republicans who will blast any probe as election-year politics.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy warned Garland of payback. He pledged to investigate the raid if Republicans win control of the House in November, which they are expected to do.
‘Attorney General Garland, preserve your documents and clear you calendar,’ he said in a statement on Monday night.
Police cars in front of Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday
Donald Trump was spotted leaving Trump Tower in New York on Monday night after announcing his Mar-a-Lago home had been raided by the FBI
The investigation is focused on material that Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House, the New York Times reported, specifically if he has classified information in his private possession, which would be a violation of federal law.
Trump took 15 boxes of material with him in January 2021 after he left Washington D.C. The boxes were returned to the National Archives a year later in January 2022 but agents on Monday were looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at his South Florida estate, the AP reported.
The search focused on the area of the club where Trump’s offices and personal quarters are, CNN reported, noting Trump’s personal attorney Christinia Bobb was present during the search.
And, during a meeting at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Trump’s attorney showed federal investigators documents that were being kept on site, including some that were marked classified, the network noted.
The Justice Department wouldn’t say whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search but it’s highly unlikely a raid on a former president would take place without the AG giving it the stamp of approval.
In February, the National Archives and Records Administration asked DoJ to examine whether the former president violated federal law. There are multiple statutes governing classified information, including a law punishable by up to five years in prison that makes it a crime to remove such records and retain them at an unauthorized location.
National Archives officials recovered 15 boxes of White House materials from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in mid-January.
Among the items Trump had to return were correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Trump has described as ‘beautiful letters’ and a handwritten letter that former President Barack Obama had left behind in the Oval Office for his successor.
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