White House on defensive over Biden documents
The White House sought Tuesday to deflect criticism over its handling of discoveries of classified documents at sites tied to President Joe Biden.
After officials revealed over the weekend that a third batch of documents had been found, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office defended the administration’s handling of the revelations.
“There’s a tension between protecting and safeguarding the integrity of an ongoing investigation with providing information publicly,” said spokesman Ian Sams.
He refused to give a specific reason why the initial discovery of documents at a Washington office used by Biden was kept quiet by the White House for more than two months. It also held back information about the latest find at Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home.
“In any investigation ... information is going to develop,” Sams said. “That’s a natural part of any investigation.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was also put on the defensive at the daily briefing when angry reporters suggested she’d misled them on Friday about the latest discovery — five additional pages of classified documents.
The discovery had already taken place when Jean-Pierre referred reporters to a statement that did not mention the new find and claimed the search of Biden’s home had been completed.
Biden is reportedly getting “frustrated” by his administration’s bumbling response to the documents scandal, CNN reported.
His lawyers alerted authorities about the documents each time they were found and he says he is cooperating with a special counsel probe.
In contrast, former President Donald Trump resisted strenuous efforts to recover documents he took from the White House and defied a subpoena demanding their return.
A federal judge authorized a bombshell search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort home, after hearing evidence that Trump intentionally defied the subpoena and even sought to move the documents, a sign of possible obstruction.
Still, the Biden documents scandal has already given Republicans a potent new talking point as they unfurl a string of investigations since winning the House of Representatives.
The documents date to Biden’s two terms as vice president.