Jean-Pierre Gives Ridiculous Response to Criticism of How She Handled Classified Documents Investigation
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has faced criticism since it was revealed classified documents were at President Joe Biden’s home and other locations.
As the chief spokesperson for the president, she does not want to comment or be seen as weighing in on an active investigation.
And Jean-Pierre has tried to stay very far away from crossing that line. In doing so, she put in place boundaries severely limiting what she would share. But those boundaries have led her to avoid answering questions about when she learned of certain developments.
During an appearance on ABC’s “The View” Tuesday, Jean-Pierre was asked about criticism of how she has handled questions about the investigation.
Co-host Sunny Hostin noted she has been accused of “stonewalling reporters, slow dripping information, and saying the search was over before new batches of documents came to light.”
When asked to respond, Jean-Pierre said, “The information I have is the information I was provided at the time by the White House Counsel.”
“Which is why I have been very clear about being prudent and not commenting,” she continued. “This is an investigation. The president made it clear during the campaign and his first two years of the administration that when it comes to DOJ investigations, we are not going to comment.”
Watch the video below:
White House @PressSec responds to criticism of how she and the admin handled the discovery of classified documents from his time as vice president: "We want the … Dept. of Justice to have their independence as it relates to any type, any type of investigation." pic.twitter.com/1izdvXevtr
— The View (@TheView) February 7, 2023
The press secretary also stated the administration is trying to do something “very different from what we saw the last administration do” by avoiding the appearance of political interference in investigations.
It is proper not to comment on active investigations. But that does not explain why she has declined to answer questions about when she learned of certain developments. For example, last month, she told reporters a search for classified documents had been “completed.” And it was later revealed more documents had been discovered than previously disclosed.
When asked about when she learned about the additional documents, Jean-Pierre responded, “I’m not going to comment from here… one of the things that we have said for the last two years when it comes to [the] Department of Justice, when it comes to legal matters, legal issues, we have been very clear that we are not going to comment, we are not going to politically interfere, and that continues with this legal issue.”
At a separate point, she was asked if it was appropriate for Biden to weigh in on the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents.
“I’m going to keep it really short today as it relates to this particular issue, as it relates to an ongoing legal matter, I’m going to refer you to the Department of Justice,” Jean-Pierre responded.
Jean-Pierre: "I am going to refer you to the DOJ."
Reporter: "I'm simply asking you to comment on the person you work for."
Jean-Pierre: "I just commented. We're moving on. I already answered your question."
Reporter: "You really didn't."
Jean-Pierre: "That's your opinion." pic.twitter.com/gxqs6rgXpz
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 18, 2023
It is unclear how the administration would appear to interfere in an investigation by answering a question about whether it was appropriate for Biden to comment on a probe.
Jean-Pierre appears to be trying to use the importance of ensuring the Justice Department is seen as impartial to protect herself from basic but important questions.
If reporters do not know when she knew certain details, they cannot really accuse her of withholding information or misleading them. It is kind of a smart strategy, but ridiculous.
She can share when she was told information without commenting on an investigation. And her refusal not to should raise questions about how forthcoming and transparent the administration has been.
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