President Biden was not briefed and "was not aware" at all of the FBI's Monday raid on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida before it happened, the White House said Tuesday at a press briefing. "No one at the White House was given a heads up," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, per USA Today. The raid, which has been widely slammed by Trump supporters, Republicans in general, and even Trump's potential 2024 presidential race rivals (Axios has a roundup of those comments here), reportedly has to do with the allegations that Trump removed classified documents from the White House when he left.
Biden and his administration learned about the raid Monday night when reports came out, "just like the American public did," Jean-Pierre said. That's in keeping with the directive Attorney General Merrick Garland gave last year, in which he said the Justice Department would not give the White House notice of "pending or contemplated criminal or law enforcement investigations or cases unless doing so is important for the performance of the president's duties and appropriate from a law enforcement perspective." That has been the policy of previous administrations as well, but not the administration of Trump, who often called for the DoJ to investigate his political rivals. Jean-Pierre would not comment on the raid other than to say the Justice Department acts independently.
The revelation that Biden had no prior knowledge of the raid caused Republican Sen. Ron Johnson to tell Fox News he thinks that claim "raises even more questions" and that he wonders whether Biden is "truly that detached from his own administration." He added, "Are they lying to us (again), or have the FBI and DOJ become partisan rogue agencies? At the very least, President Biden should have been made aware of the unprecedented FBI raid on a former president." Trump himself also posted on Truth Social his belief that Biden "knew all about" the raid in advance, Fox News reports. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)