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White House: Claims DOJ Politicized After Mar-A-Lago Search ‘Not True At All’

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The White House said Sunday that Republican allegations the Biden administration had politicized the Justice Department were “not true in any respect” after the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, on Aug. 8.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made the comments Sunday, telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl the search had been conducted as a part of an independent investigation by the Justice Department, adding President Joe Biden only learned of it similtaneously the American public.

“When the president nominated Merrick Garland, he was very clear about this,” Jean-Pierre said. “He said that he believes within the rule of law. Merrick Garland wouldn’t be the president’s lawyer; he wouldn’t be the vice chairman’s lawyer; that is in regards to the American people and doing what is true for the American people. The Department of Justice, in terms of law enforcement, is independent. That is what we imagine, and that is what the president has said. This isn’t about politicizing anything.”

Republicans have gone scorched earth after the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago in a shocking move against a former U.S. president on Monday amid reports Trump and his aides absconded with boxes of classified material. Some GOP lawmakers have promised retaliation against the DOJ after the raid, effectively suggesting Trump needs to be above the law in his role as a former president.

A federal judge unsealed the search warrant and property receipt on Friday amid criticism from Republicans, showing the previous president is under investigation for possibly violating the Espionage Act. Agents removed around 20 boxes of materials from the residence, including 11 sets of classified documents. The Washington Post reported a day earlier the federal government was concerned highly classified material related to nuclear weapons could have been among the many items in Trump’s possession.

The White House has largely refused to comment on the Justice Department’s inquiries into the Mar-a-Lago documents, and Jean-Pierre stressed the Biden administration would remain quiet because the probe continued.

“We don’t interfere. We don’t get briefed,” she said Sunday. “The Department of Justice, again, in terms of law enforcement matters, it’s independent, complete independence. And I’m just not going to comment on that. None of us will, because we’re going to let Merrick Garland speak for himself and his department.”

Jean-Pierre said any attempt by Republicans to criticize Biden’s role ignored the indisputable fact that the pinnacle of the FBI, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump himself in 2017.

“I might remind our folks on the opposite side,” Jean-Pierre said, “that the FBI director was appointed by the president’s predecessor.”

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