Biden smirks and LAUGHS at reporters while again refusing to answer questions on classified files – as shocking report reveals Department of Justice made deal to keep FBI agents AWAY from search
- Grinning Biden refused to answer questions from reporters in the Oval Office
- Reporters shouted questions on the documents – but he just sat and smiled
- And new report found DoJ cut a deal with Biden team to keep FBI out
- Justice agreed to let Biden’s team search solo
- White House is under intense scrutiny for their response to the files scandal
- It took them two months from the first discovery to acknowledge them
President Joe Biden smiled and laughed Tuesday as he ignored a barrage of questions about the classified documents scandal that has engulfed his administration while a shocking new report detailed a deal made by the Justice Department to keep the FBI away from the search.
The grinning Biden stayed silent at the end of his meeting with Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte – while the media asked about the sensitive files found at his D.C. think tank and garage at his Wilmington home.
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal revealed on Tuesday that the Justice Department considered having FBI agents monitor Biden’s personal attorneys as they searched his Wilmington and Rehoboth homes but decided against it, deciding Biden’s lawyers were cooperating with them.
Biden’s legal team, after the discovery of the first tranche of documents at his D.C. think tank, talked with the DoJ about having FBI agents present while Biden’s lawyers conducted the additional searches.
Ultimately the two sides cut a deal where only Biden’s attorneys would do the search and immediately report any findings. They did find more documents – in the garage and ‘personal library’ of the president’s Wilmington home.
It’s marked contrast to how the Justice Department worked with Donald Trump’s legal team. After making repeated requests about classified documents reportedly in the former president’s possession, the Justice Department ultimately obtained a federal warrant for FBI agents to raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
Trump and his supporters have roared about the situation, calling it a double standard. Biden’s team argues they have been consistently cooperating in their case.
President Biden smiled and laughed as he ignored a barrage of questions from reporters about the classified documents scandal that has engulfed the White House
The grinning Biden stayed silent at the end of his meeting with Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte – while the media asked about the sensitive files found at his D.C. think tank and garage at his Wilmington home
Nov. 2: 10 classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center, a think tank in Washington, D.C., by President Joe Biden’s lawyers.
Nov. 3: The National Archives was notified of the discovery
Nov. 4: The National Archives’ Office of Inspector General contacted a prosecutor at the Department of Justice and told them that classified material had been discovered at the Penn Biden Center. The documents were secured at an Archives facility
Nov. 8: 2022 midterm election
Nov. 9: The FBI commenced an assessment to determine whether classified material had been mishandled
Nov. 14: Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, John Lausch, to determine if a special counsel was needed
Dec. 20: The president’s personal attorney informed Lausch that additional documents with classification markings were found in Biden’s garage in Wilmington, Delaware. The FBI secured those documents
Jan 5: Lausch advised Garland that a special counsel should be appointed
Jan. 9: White House publicly announces classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president found at the office of his D.C. think tank
Jan 12: The president’s personal attorney informed Lausch that an additional document was discovered at Biden’s Wilmington home
Jan. 12: White House publicly announces additional classified documents were found in Biden’s Wilmington home
Jan. 12: White House counsel Richard Richard Sauber travels to Biden’s Wilmington home – finds five more classified documents
Jan. 14: White House publicly discloses the documents Sauber found
The president, meanwhile, has evaded shouted questions on more than one occasion on the documents debacle since it was first reported last week. He last spoke on matter on Thursday, reading a prepared statement and defended having the classified material in the same garage as his Corvette, noting his classic car was kept locked up.
The White House is also under intense scrutiny for waiting two months to publicly react to the discovery of the first batch of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has also frequently dodged questions during combative and dismissive appearances in the briefing room while claiming Biden takes classified documents ‘seriously’.
To try and deflect from the controversy, the White House on Tuesday tried to attack Republicans and asked Kevin McCarthy to reveal all the backroom deals he made to become Speaker.
The GOP has put pressure on Biden and the administration’s response to their handling of classified material by promising Congressional investigations and demanding visitor logs from the Wilmington home – which the White House says doesn’t exist.
During the meeting with Rutte, the president didn’t answer questions from reporters – including one on whether he would speak with special counsel Robert Hur.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Hur to investigate the matter.
Law enforcement sources told the Journal that FBI agents may not have wanted to be part of the original search so they could ask for a search warrant at a later date if they found something in their investigation that required it.
Hur is expected to begin his job as special counsel by the end of the month as he had to give notice at the private law firm he is working.
The White House, meanwhile, ratcheted up its battle with the GOP, calling on McCarthy to reveal the deals he made to win over hard-line conservatives to become Speaker of the House.
It took McCarthy 15 ballots to gain enough support from his own party to become Speaker. There have been reports on the deals he cut – including a pledge that would allow only one lawmaker to issue a Speaker recall – but has never outlined all the concessions he made.
White House spokesman Andrew Bates slammed the GOP for deals made on abortion and other issues. He led the call in demanding more transparency from the Republicans.
‘What other hidden bargains did Speaker McCarthy make behind closed doors with the most extreme, ultra MAGA members of the House Republican conference? The American people have a right to know – now – which is why we are calling on him to make every single one of them public immediately,’ he said in a statement.
McCarthy has said he made no formal agreements to win the votes he needed, but conservatives said they were promised certain concessions.
Some Republicans have even said they aren’t sure of all that McCarthy promised to the right-wing of the party.
McCarthy is already in battle mode with the White House, demanding cuts to government spending instead of increasing the debt limit – a priority for conservatives.
The White House has expected to wage battle with House Republicans now that they have the majority in that chamber.
The GOP has already vowed to investigate the president, his family and his administration.
They have also vowed to look into the classified documents found at Biden’s now-shuttered think tank in Washington DC and his Wilmington home.
Donald Trump and his supporters have roared about a double standard when it comes to the Justice Department’s investigation of the documents in his possession versus those in Biden’s
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, a Republican of Kentucky, sent a letter to Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Sunday demanding access to any visitor logs kept for the Delaware home.
‘Without a list of individuals who have visited his residence, the American people will never know who had access to these highly sensitive documents,’ he wrote.
The White House has said there are no visitor logs as it is a private home.
And, on Tuesday, Sams held a briefing call with reporters to slam Republicans’ probes.
‘Their outrage is all pure theater,’ he said.
He would not commit to the White House cooperating with the GOP requests for documents and other information.
‘We’re limited in what we can say during an ongoing DOJ inquiry,’ he said, referring to the special counsel’s inquiry.
‘We’ll make a determination about our response in due course, but of course, we’re gonna call it out when we see rampant hypocrisy, that that shows a total lack of credibility when it comes to these requests,’ he noted.
Sams, who will be the point person to answer questions on any Biden scandals, also wouldn’t say if Biden would answer questions from Hur.
‘We’re not going to get ahead of that process with the Special Counsel and speculate on what they may or may not want or ask for,’ he said.
The White House is also under intense scrutiny for waiting two months to publicly react to the discovery of the first batch of classified documents at the Penn Biden Center
The White House has demanded Kevin McCarthy reveal the deal he made with hardline conservatives to become Speaker
Timeline of events leading up to Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing Special Counsel Robert Hur to oversee investigation as to the potential mishandling of classified documents
Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware
On Saturday, the White House revealed a fourth tranche of documents were found – again at Biden’s Wilmington home.
The White House has faced repeated questions over its lack of transparency about when the documents were discovered. They waited about two months – until well past the November midterm election – to announce documents found at Biden’s DC think tank before voters went to the polls.
The counsel’s office then made two more announcements – regarding documents found at Biden’s garage in his Wilmington home and then a third document found in a room at that house.
On Saturday, the administration announced five more pages containing classified information were found at Biden’s Wilmington home.
White House Counsel Richard Sauber said that because he has security clearance, and Biden’s personal lawyers don’t, he had gone to the president’s home to examine other papers there.
Meanwhile, aspecial counsel is already reviewing Trump’s possession of highly classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago residence. FBI agents searched the residence this summer under a grand jury subpoena after a months-long process seeking to obtain government material.
The White House has consistently emphasized Biden’s attorneys found the documents and promptly turned them over to the National Archives, arguing all proper procedures were followed.
In Trump’s case, the Archives realized documents from his administration were missing and requested their return.
Trump eventually gave 15 boxes of materials to the agency, which discovered classified documents among them. When federal investigators suspected the former president was holding onto more documents, they got a judge’s permission to search Mar-a-Lago.
That raid took place in August and turned up more documents.
For his part, Biden previously said he and his staff would cooperate with the investigation. He expressed surprise to discover he had classified documents dating back to when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president.
‘People know I take classified documents,’ classified materials seriously,’ Biden said last week, reading from a prepared statement.
‘I’m going to get a chance to speak on this soon, God willing,’ he added, as reporters shouted questions. ‘We’re going to see all this unfold.’
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