White House: Biden was ‘not aware’ of FBI raid at Trump's Mar-a-Lago

·Senior White House Correspondent
·2-min read

WASHINGTON—The White House refused on Tuesday to say much about Monday's Federal Bureau of Investigation search at Mar-a-Lago, the lavish South Florida resort where former President Donald Trump lives.

“No one at the White House was given a heads-up,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing, adding that Biden was “not aware” of the dramatic move.

“The president and the White House learned about this FBI search from public reports. We learned just like the American public did yesterday, and we did not have advance notice of this activity,” Jean-Pierre said.

At an event at the White House earlier in the afternoon, a reporter shouted a question about the FBI search in Biden’s direction. The president did not respond.

Karine Jean-Pierre answers questions at the podium.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the daily press briefing at the White House on Tuesday. (Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

The contents of the warrant used to execute the search remain unknown, but the target appears to be a trove of documents removed by Trump from the White House, according to multiple reports.

Throughout much of the summer, a House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, which was carried out by Trump’s supporters, has meticulously made the case that the former president was intimately involved in planning an attempt to stop certification of the previous November’s presidential election.

Donald Trump speaks.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Aug. 6 in Dallas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Trump and his supporters in the Republican Party and conservative media outlets have painted Monday’s development as a political ploy intended to frustrate Trump’s expected launch of a 2024 presidential campaign. Outlets like Fox News, which had been downplaying Trump’s role in the future of the Republican Party, quickly and furiously rose to his defense.

Democrats had been pushing Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue a criminal investigation into Trump’s role on Jan. 6 more actively. The attorney general has not commented on what took place at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.

Thumbnail Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images