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President Biden is choosing to remain silent amid a wave of controversy over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s unprecedented raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Monday marks two weeks since FBI agents descended upon the private estate in Palm Beach, Florida, discovering classified and “top secret” information among boxes of documents.
Biden has yet to comment on the raid, which was the first of its kind in history involving a former sitting president. Republicans have accused Biden of weaponizing the Department of Justice against his predecessor, who appears likely to run against the president again in 2024.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing that the president had no prior knowledge of the raid and only learned of it in news reports along with the rest of the country. She has also sought to debunk allegations by Republicans that the raid, which occurred just three months out from the midterm elections, was politically motivated.
“The Department of Justice, when it comes to law enforcement, is independent,” Jean-Pierre said on ABC earlier this month. “This is what we believe, and this is what the president has said. This is not about politicizing anything.”
“We do not interfere. We do not get briefed,” she added. “The Department of Justice, again, when it comes to law enforcement matters, it is 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.”
Biden’s silence is notable, seeing that he hasn’t declined to offer his opinion on DOJ matters in the past. Last year, the DOJ was forced to reiterate its commitment to remaining independent soon after Biden told reporters he hoped the agency would prosecute witnesses who defied subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee.
“I hope that the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” Biden said on Oct. 15.
When asked whether he thinks those individuals should be prosecuted by the DOJ, the president replied, “I do, yes.”
DOJ spokesperson Anthony Coley issued a terse statement later that same day, saying, “The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop.”
A White House spokesman pointed Fox News Digital to Jean-Pierre’s past comments when asked Sunday whether Biden ever planned to address the Mar-a-Lago raid.