White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday said President Biden had not been notified in advance about the FBI search of former President Trump’s Florida home as she sidestepped questions about the raid.
“The president learned about this just like you all did — through the public reports and we learned about this just like the American people did,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said of the raid. “We did not know about this and we had not been briefed. We learned about this as you all were reporting it.”
FBI agents searched Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, seizing documents in the most significant law enforcement action ever taken against a former president.
The FBI and Justice Department have not commented on the search, but media outlets say the bureau’s actions were part of a long-running probe into whether classified documents were taken to Mar-a-Lago rather than sent to the National Archives, as required.
Ms. Jean-Pierre declined to answer questions about whether the search could be viewed as a politically motivated action against Mr. Biden’s possible opponent in the 2024 presidential election.
She also dodged questions about Republican criticism about the FBI’s search and whether Attorney General Merrick Garland should testify before Congress as some Republican lawmakers have demanded.
“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,” she said.