White House press secretary grilled on past claim that classified document search was complete
White House lawyers have so far found three batches of misplaced classified documents from Biden’s time as vice president, one in the Washington offices of the Penn Biden Center and two more inside the president’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. Jean-Pierre had initially told reporters on Friday that the search for classified documents was over, only for news of the third batch to break on Saturday.
‘Last week you told us that we could all assume, that the American people could assume, the searches were complete and all the documents had been recovered,’ a reporter began. ‘On Saturday the White House Counsel’s Office said that five additional classified documents had been found. Is it safe to assume now that all the documents have been recovered…or are more searches underway?’
‘We have addressed multiple questions from here. Multiple questions have been answered by the president,’ Jean-Pierre responded. ‘I’m just going to continue to be prudent here. I’m going to let this ongoing review that is happening, this legal process that is happening, and let that process continue under the special counsel.’
‘I’m not going to comment from here,’ she added, saying the Biden administration has made a habit of staying quiet on Justice Department matters.
A second reporter was more aggressive, pointing out that Jean-Pierre herself stood before reporters and stated that the search was over just one day before more documents were in fact found.
‘Did you not know on Friday that those additional documents had been found when you were at the podium, or were you being directed by someone to not be forthcoming on this issue?’ the reporter asked.
‘I have been forthcoming from this podium,’ Jean-Pierre responded. ‘What I said yes to was what the statement at the time was–what we all had. You all had the statement, and I was repeating what the [White House] counsel was saying at the time.’
Biden’s lawyers uncovered the first batch of classified documents inside the Penn Biden Center offices in November and said they immediately handed over the documents to the National Archives. Since then, searches uncovered two more batches inside the garage of Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware.
The trove of mishandled documents led Attorney General Merrick Garland to appoint a special counsel to investigate the matter last week, tapping former U.S. attorney Robert Hur.
Meanwhile, Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding more transparency from Biden regarding the content of the documents and who may have had access to them. The White House Counsel’s office deflected by saying there is no visitor log for Biden’s Wilmington home.
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer said he will ‘continue to press’ for information about the documents despite the lack of a visitor log, however.
‘President Biden promised to have the most transparent administration in history, but he refuses to be transparent when it matters most,’ Comer told Fox News Digital. ‘The White House, National Archives, and the Justice Department withheld information from Congress and the American people about classified records found in unsecure locations from Joe Biden’s time as vice president. The American people deserve transparency, not secrecy.’