Posted For: Willie Wonka
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday sought to debunk allegations by Republicans that the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) raid on former President Donald Trump’s personal residence just months out from the midterm elections was politically motivated.
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Jean-Pierre was asked to respond to comments Friday by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who pointed out that Trump is Biden’s most likely opponent in the 2024 presidential election and that the raid of Mar-a-Lago came fewer than 100 days before the crucial 2022 midterms.
“The FBI raid of President Trump is a complete abuse and overreach of its authority,” Stefanik said in a clip played for Jean-Pierre.
“So, just to comment on what I just heard, this is not true,” Jean-Pierre responded. “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. This is not about politicizing anything. That is not true at all.
“And I would remind our folks on the other side that the FBI director was appointed by the president’s predecessor,” Jean-Pierre continued. “I would remind the folks on the other side that when [Attorney General] Merrick Garland was indeed confirmed, it was a bipartisan fashion. So, again, this is not what this is about. We do not interfere. We do not get briefed. The Department of Justice, again, when it comes to law enforcement matters, it is independent, complete independence. And I’m just not going to comment on that. None of us will, because we’re going to let Merrick Garland speak for himself.”
For the first time in U.S. history, the FBI executed a search warrant at the home of a former president on Monday — Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where they found boxes that contained varying degrees of classification, including top secret and confidential information.
The search warrant, unsealed by a judge days later, showed the FBI search was connected to a possible violation of the Espionage Act.
The former president is disputing the classification, saying the records have been declassified.
Jean-Pierre told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that the White House is learning about the developments of the raid in real time just like the rest of the country.
“We have learned about all of this the same way the American people have learned about this, through public reports, through you, your reporting and every other reporter who has talked about this,” she said. “That’s how we have learned about what is happening.”