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White House Refuses to Deny Biden Is Weaponizing the DOJ Against Political Opponents

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

In the first White House press briefing since the FBI raided President Trump's Mar-A-Lago, Biden's press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated previously reported claims that no one in the White House — not President Joe Biden, not anyone who works there — was given any heads up that the FBI would be going after Trump at his Palm Beach retreat.


"The Justice Department conducts investigations independently, and we leave any law enforcement matters to them — It would not be appropriate for us to comment on any ongoing investigations," Jean-Pierre explained in a line that would be repeated more than a dozen times in Tuesday's briefing as reporters tried to get more out of the White House about what the unprecedented raid targeting a former president's home.

"He believes in the rule of law, in the independence of justice department investigations," Jean-Pierre claimed, "that those investigations should be free from political influence and he has held that commitment as president." The White House also refused to say whether Biden thought the Justice Department and FBI acted accordingly in its raid of Mar-A-Lago:

Perhaps most damning, however, was Jean-Pierre's answer when asked by Fox News' Peter Doocy about the White House's relationship with the Department of Justice and FBI. 

"Is this White House weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI against political opponents?" Doocy asked Biden's spokeswoman. But Jean-Pierre didn't say yes or no. She issued another rambling "no comment" to the question that should be a quick answer. True or not, the White House should say "no" to avoid further questions about how the White House is using the DOJ and FBI, otherwise all Jean-Pierre's claims about the institutions being independent from the president are pointless. 


Jean-Pierre's "no comment" and "just not going to comment" responses continued to a barrage of questions from almost every reporter called on in Tuesday's briefing:

Does the White House think it would be helpful for the DOJ to be more open about the reasons for the raid?

"We're just not going to comment.

Doesn't the DOJ going after the former president who may be the president's opponent in 2024 reek of politics?

"We did not have advance notice."

What's the White House response to Republicans promise investigations of the raid on Mar-A-Lago?

"I'm just not going to comment."

Did Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland sign off on the raid?

"We learned about this just like you all did."

Does President Biden know whether AG Garland signed off on the raid?

"I don't have anything more to share."

Has President Biden talked to AG Garland on Tuesday?

"I'm just not going to speak further."

Does Joe Biden view Donald Trump as a political rival?

"I'm not going to comment on that."

Will the Biden administration or DOJ provide a full accounting of its raid?


"No comment."

Will the White House be briefed on what the DOJ is doing?

"We are not involved."

Is the White House concerned that a lack of comment will lead Americans to believe the claims that the Biden administration is going after its political opponents with the DOJ?

"We're just not going to comment."

Despite Karine Jean-Pierre's attempts to tamp down questions about the FBI's raid of President Trump's "Southern White House," all her briefing created was more questions and more uncertainty.

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