White House continues to insist they have been transparent in Biden’s documents debacle – NewsAlarts
The White House continued to defend its transparency and responsiveness on Tuesday – even amid the latest drip-drip revelation that the FBI had searched President Biden’s former think tank office back in November.
That government search came days after Biden’s lawyer discovered material marked classified inside his Penn Biden office in Washington, D.C. back on Nov. 2 – although his team didn’t reveal the information for six weeks.
‘We have released multiple statements from the White House and President Biden’s personal attorney has released multiple statements over the last month walking through the process and agreeing to be fully, fully cooperative with the Justice Department,’ White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told CNN Tuesday.
‘This is a a process that plays out we are responsive to the Justice Department’s requests. We have been clear from the outset that the President will cooperate with every request the Justice Department has, and we’ve put out multiple statements.
‘We have released multiple statements,’ White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said Tuesday when pressed on the latest document disclosure – that the FBI had searched President Biden’s former office back in November
CNN host Victor Blackwell asked the longtime Biden advisor about the ‘trickle of disclosure’ – and why he was bringing the information to her instead of the other way around – following information that was available to insiders back in November.
Asked on camera if any additional documents were discovered in the search, Bedingfield responded: ‘That’s not something I can comment on from here,’ and referred the matter to the Justice Department.
A source told the network all of the classified material that Biden’s team had discovered had already been handed over by the time of the FBI search.
That search was voluntary, and did not take place under a search warrant.
The defense was only the latest time the White House invoked its own transparency even while being questioned about new information related to the discovery of classified information in Biden’s realm – first at his office, then at his Wilmington home, and then additional discoveries of material at the home following an FBI search.
DOJ has not responded to inquiries about the matter, but its own teams have uncovered additional materials that were not picked up in initial searches.
CNN host Vicktor Blackwell pressed the longtime Biden advisor about the ‘trickle of disclosure’ in the wake of the new reports
The FBI search in November came days after Biden’s own lawyer identified classified material there, it was revealed Tuesday, in a new detail revealed by CBS News that the White House did not disclose at the time.
It was not immediately known if any additional documents marked classified were uncovered during the search, which took place in mid-November – with an exact date still not clear late Tuesday.
On November 2, days before the mid-term elections, a Biden attorney discovered 10 documents marked ‘classified,’ then contacted the National Archives, which alerted the Justice Department.
News of the FBI search comes as the Biden administration faces new pressure from Democrats to disclose the contents of classified material found at his home and office.
Investigators from the FBI searched the Penn Biden office for classified material back in November, it was revealed Tuesday
A January 14 statement from Biden lawyer Bob Bauer did not acknowledge the government search, only flagging the government’s ‘inquiry, including taking possession of any documents and reviewing any surrounding material for further review and context.’
A January 12 statement by White House counsel Richard Sauber noted that the president’s lawyers and DOJ were ‘coordinating closely’ in the search of the president’s Wilmington home.
‘Following the discovery of government documents at the Penn Biden Center in November 2022, and coordinating closely with the Department of Justice, the President’s lawyers have searched the President’s Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, residences — the other locations where files from his Vice-Presidential office might have been shipped in the course of the 2017 transition, Sauber said in a statement. That search turned up classified materials in a garage and one in an adjacent room.
On Friday, January 20, the FBI searched Biden’s Wilmington home, uncovering additional classified material.
Top Republicans have called on the government to search the president’s Rehoboth, Delaware, beach house, where Biden’s team says no classified documents were uncovered in its own search.
The White House had fielded questions last week about whether such a search might happen this past weekend, when Biden was at Camp David and in Wilmington, but there are no indications it happened.
‘There has not been a limit of transparency,’ White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this month during a particularly feisty White House press briefing.
The repeated disclosures come after months of reporting on Donald Trump’s own resistance to government demands to return documents – and the FBI’s discovery under a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago of hundreds of documents marked ‘classified.’
The search at the Penn Biden center in Washington, D.C. came days after the initial document discovery
The FBI carried out a search of Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, where classified materials were discovered in a garage and private library
The same garage is home to Biden’s classic Corvette Stingray – along with some boxes and a lampshade
The news broke as Biden visited New York to tout infrastructure improvements
The president has faced repeated questions about the documents, sometimes scolding reporters, sometimes defending his conduct
Former Barack Obama advisor David Axelrod is among prominent Democrats who have called out the Biden White House for insufficient transparency, in an op-ed where he faulted the team for violating a mantra of crisis communications to ‘fully disclose all the facts’ as quickly as possible.
Bauer’s statement following the Wilmington search this month made clear that the Justice Department took part in the search.
DOJ ‘took possession of materials it deemed within the scope of its inquiry, including six items consisting of documents with classification markings and surrounding materials, some of which were from the President’s service in the Senate and some of which were from his tenure as Vice President,’ Bauer said in a statement at the time. He said investigators also took handwritten notes from Biden’s time as vice president.