Biden says he had ‘zero’ notice of FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

Biden says he had ‘zero’ notice of FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home

President Biden emphatically denied on Wednesday that he had any prior notice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation search carried out at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, which revealed hundreds of pages of highly classified documents.

At the conclusion of a White House event detailing Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt for some Americans, a Fox News reporter asked the president, “How much notice did you get of the FBI’s plan to search Mar-a-Lago? ?”

“I didn’t get any notice – none, zero, not a single bit. Thank you,” Biden replied.

Since the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and home in Palm Beach, Florida on Aug. 8, Republicans have accused the Biden administration of “arming” the Department of Justice in an effort to to politically harm the government. Former president.

On Tuesday, Trump himself led that chorus.

“The White House strongly stated that they were NOT INVOLVED and knew absolutely nothing about the political witch hunt that was happening to me, and that they knew nothing about the Mar-a-Lago invasion. It was strongly reiterated again and again. new. WRONG!” Trump wrote in a statement posted on his social media platform. “Remember, these are the people who spied on my campaign, denied it, and got caught. Through John Solomon’s great reportage (Pulitzer Prize fake?), documents reveal that they knew it all, in fact led the charge – a political NO , NO!”

President Biden is on a podium.

President Biden on Wednesday at the White House. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Contrary to Trump’s claim, a federal judge signed the FBI warrant authorizing the search warrant after months of negotiations between the former president and the National Archives over boxes that Trump removed from the White House and was keeping at his Florida home.

The FBI’s warrant for the search suggests that the administration believes the information in Trump’s residence may violate the Espionage Act, which covers mishandling and damage to confidential documents, as well as other potential laws.

Trump pointed to a May 10 letter sent by Debra Wall, an interim United States archivist, to Trump’s legal team about the former president holding national security documents and other classified materials. The letter says Trump took more than 700 pages of confidential documents to his Florida resort, some of them classified as the government’s most secret.

Trump’s allies focused on a passage they concluded proved that the Biden administration had been warned months that a Mar-a-Lago invasion was underway. In the passage, Wall writes that at one point she sought guidance from the White House attorney’s office.

“On April 11, 2022, the Office of the White House Council confirming a Department of Justice request supported by an FBI letterhead memo formally broadcast a request for NARA to provide the FBI with access to the 15 boxes for review within seven days.” , she wrote. .

An aerial view of former US President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said FBI agents broke into the home, in Palm Beach, Florida, US, Aug. 15, 2022. REUTERS / Marco Bello

An aerial view of former US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said FBI agents broke into the home, in Palm Beach, Florida, US, Aug. 15, 2022. REUTERS / Marco Bello

However, in the same letter, Wall makes clear that the White House attorney’s office and Biden himself have submitted to it, given the politically charged circumstances of negotiations to retrieve and inspect documents Trump is accused of improperly taking to Florida. .

“The President’s Attorney informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Advisers, as to whether or not I should defend the former alleged ‘statement’ protector of the president’s executive privilege,” she wrote.

Since the Aug. 8 search of Trump’s home, the White House has vehemently denied prior knowledge of the matter.

“The president was not informed, he was not aware of it,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at an Aug. 9 briefing. “No one in the White House has been notified.”

At an August 11 news conference, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had “personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”

“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is a fundamental tenet of the Department of Justice and our democracy,” said Garland. “Defending the rule of law means applying the law uniformly, without fear or favor. Under my supervision, that’s exactly what the Department of Justice is doing.”

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