On Wednesday, President Biden rebuffed any claims that he was involved in orchestrating the FBI raid on Mar-A-Lago by saying he had “zero” advanced warning of the raid.
It was alleged by former President Donald Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, that the White House counsel’s office, “affirming a request from the Department of Justice supported by an FBI letterhead memorandum,” made a request on April 11th for The National Archives to “provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days.”
During an event about student loan cancellation, a Fox News reporter quizzed Biden on this subject by asking “How much advance notice did you have of the FBI’s plan to search Mar-a-Lago?” Biden responded: “I didn’t have any advance notice — none, zero, not one single bit. Thank you.”
Several Republicans have accused the Biden administration of “weaponizing” the Justice Department. Trump also took to Truth Social to play down Biden’s assertion that he wasn’t involved.
“The White House stated strongly that they were NOT INVOLVED, and knew absolutely nothing about, the political Witch Hunt going on with me, & that they didn’t know anything at all about the Break-In of Mar-a-Lago. This was strongly reiterated again & again. WRONG!” Trump wrote.
He continued, “Remember, these are the people who spied on my campaign, denied it, & got caught. Through the great reporting of John Solomon (Fake Pulitzer Prize?), documents reveal they knew everything, in fact led the charge – a political NO, NO!”
Steidel Wall, who is the head of the NARA (National Archive Records Administration) put it in writing that at one juncture she sought guidance from the White House counsel’s office.
“On April 11, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office affirming a request from the Department of Justice supported by an FBI letterhead memorandum formally transmitted a request that NARA provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days,” she wrote.
Steidel Wall goes on to say within the same letter that the White House counsel’s office and Biden had deferred to her due to the politically sensitive nature of the case.
“The Counsel to the President has informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, regarding whether or not I should uphold the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege,’” she wrote.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference on August 9 that “The president was not briefed, was not aware of it.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland also confirmed that he “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy,” Garland said. “Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing.”
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