White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has disputed the rhetoric put out by Republicans that the FBI raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was politically motivated.
In comments aimed at Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who called the search “a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” Jean-Pierre told ABC News’ “This Week” co-host Jonathan Karl on Aug. 14, “This is not about politicizing anything.”
“The Department of Justice, when it comes to law enforcement, is independent. This is what we believe, and this is what the president has said,” she added.
Jean-Pierre also stressed that the head of the DOJ, Attorney General Merrick Garland, was confirmed by the Senate in a bipartisan manner.
“Merrick Garland would not be the president’s lawyer. He would not be the vice president’s lawyer. This is about the American people and doing what is right for the American people,” she said.
“And I would remind our folks on the other side that the FBI director was appointed by the president’s predecessor,” Jean-Pierre noted.
When asked by Karl if President Joe Biden was concerned about national security in relation to Trump’s handling of official records, Jean-Pierre refused to comment.
“I cannot comment on this. It is an investigation that is currently happening… It would be inappropriate for me as a press secretary to comment on this,” she said.
“It would be inappropriate for any of us, including the president or anyone in the administration to comment on this. This is a law enforcement matter. And the Department of Justice is going to move forward as they see fit,” she added.
The White House spokesperson further emphasized the claim that Biden was not briefed in advance on the move executed by the FBI on Aug. 8.
“We have learned about all of this the same way the American people have learned about this; through public reports, through New York reporting, and every other reporter who has talked about this. That’s how we have learned about what has happened,” she said.
Jean-Pierre made a similar comment on Aug. 9, when she insisted that neither Biden nor anyone at the White House was aware of the raid before it was made public.
“No one at the White House was given a heads up,” she said at a White House press conference.
Her claim was refuted by Trump a few days later.
“The ‘White House’ just announced that it had NO KNOWLEDGE of the early morning RAID on Mar-a-Lago, or the break in of Melania’s closets, my safe’s, or the secured and locked storage area where unclassified documents were safely held, and which the FBI knew of, was shown, and made recommendations that another lock be added (which they cracked, but not with the safecracker that they brought with them!),” Trump said in a statement on his Truth Social platform on Aug. 13.
“Does ANYBODY really believe that the White House didn’t know about this?” Trump continued. “WITCH HUNT!”