White House Again Stonewalls Press on Classified Doc Scandal After Claiming Transparency

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on December 8, 2022. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continued Tuesday to stonewall reporters on questions related to President Joe Biden’s classified documents scandal despite her repeated claims of providing transparency.

Legal experts suggest Jean-Pierre’s refusal to answer questions lacks any legal or logical reason.

Jean-Pierre refused to answer questions about why Biden possessed classified information. “We know the President did it. Why did he do it?” Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked.

“I’d refer you to the White House Counsel’s office,” Jean-Pierre responded.

“In the President’s own words, he admits to having information that wasn’t his. Why did he smuggle it out?” Doocy pressed.

“I’m not going to go down a rabbit hole on this,” Jean-Pierre replied.

The White House House press secretary also refused to answer why Biden visited his Wilmington home after the special counsel was named.

“After a special counsel was named, but before the FBI searched, President Biden went to his house in Wilmington. What was he doing in there?” Doocy asked.

Karine Jean-Pierre replied, “I would refer you to the White House Counsel’s Office.”

Additional stonewalling was used when a reporter asked if the president objected to a search of the University of Delaware for classified documents. The DOJ is reportedly weighing whether to search additional locations linked to Biden.

“Does President Biden have any objection to such a search?” the reporter asked.

Karine Jean-Pierre failed to directly answer the question.

According to constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, the White House’s refusal to answer questions about the scandal “lacks any cognizable legal or logical rationale.” He asked:

Why does the media have to ask legal counsel whether the Administration thinks former officials should take care to check for any classified documents improperly held in their home? Is there any alternative universe where counsel will equivocate on that question? Moreover, White House counsel (which was accused of drafting the original misleading statement to the press) does not represent the President as a person as opposed to the presidency.

“The White House is maintaining the position that the President can make public statements as the President but it will not address what he meant in those comments,” Turley continued. “Jean-Pierre refused to even answer if the President has been briefed on the Pence discoveries. Why? How is that a legal question?”

Troves of classified information were found by Biden’s personal attorneys and the DOJ in Biden’s Wilmington residence and the Penn Biden Center in recent weeks. The first and second troves were discovered before the scandal was leaked to the press on January 9.

White House officials have reportedly become suspicious about how Biden’s classified document scandal was leaked to the press after only a select group of White House and DOJ officials knew about the violation. The American people would not know of the scandal if it was not leaked, Republican lawmakers believe.

It remains unclear why Biden’s personal attorneys were initially searching for the classified materials. The White House and DOJ have failed to provide the initial reason or cause for the search.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.

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