Over the weekend, there was another bombshell revelation in the classified document mishandling scandal that threatens to engulf President Joe Biden's administration, and as a result of the new discoveries, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has had to – potentially prematurely – reveal her boss's plans for 2024, as the Daily Mail reports.
Jean-Pierre's statements came as a result of questioning from Fox News' Peter Doocy, who asked whether there was “precedent for people running for for president after the FBI searched their sock drawer,” a reference to a recent 13-hour search of Biden's Wilmington, Delaware home, which turned up additional classified documents over and above those already acknowledged to have been found.
The exchange in which Jean-Pierre was compelled to discuss Biden's future plans came amid news reports that additional classified documents were discovered at the president's Wilmington residence, despite assurances from the media briefing room podium that searches in that regard were already “complete,” as Fox News noted.
Much to Jean-Pierre's certain frustration, Justice Department officials stated Friday that “six items consisting of documents with classification markings” were found at Biden's home, even though the press secretary herself suggested that no further discoveries would be made.
The revelations came after Biden granted, according to his personal attorney Bob Bauer, “full access to the president's home, including personally handwritten noted, files, papers, binders, memorabilia, to-do lists, schedules, and reminders going back decades.
Discoveries of additional documents bearing classified markings stood counter to claims made on Jan. 12 by Jean-Pierre that all searches relating to the documents issue were “completed,” and that the matter was now in “the hands of the special counsel,” and those claims were quickly belied by news reports on Jan. 13 indicating that White House special counsel Richard Sauber had indicated that more such documents had in fact been located.
Then, almost a week later, more documents were found at Biden's Wilmington homestead, when officials from the FBI, Department of Justice, and Biden's own legal team descended on the property for another search.
That investigation reportedly took place between the hours of 9:45 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. and included “all working, living and storage spaces in the home.”
Despite the inconsistencies between Jean-Pierre's prior statements and subsequent discoveries of additional documents, no clarifying information has been forthcoming from the White House.
“I'm just going to continue to be prudent here, Jean-Pierre explained, adding, “I'm going to let this ongoing review that is happening, this legal process that is happening and let that process continue under the special counsel,” echoing her prior refusals to provide any insight into that status of the situation.
Not content to accept Jean-Pierre's continued disclaimers and refusals to provide answers to journalists' questions, Doocy asked whether Biden is taking the matter of classified document handling seriously enough.
“The president has been very clear that he takes this very seriously when it comes to classified information, when it comes to classified documents, and that his team has been fully cooperative with this legal matter,” Jean-Pierre said.
Pressed on whether Biden is likely to throw his hat in the ring for 2024 in light of recent revelations, Jean-Pierre said, “I'll just repeat what the president said after the midterm election, which is he intends to run. I'm not going to speak further to his process.”
Reacting to Doocy's question about whether anyone had ever run for president after an FBI raid of their “sock drawer,” Jean-Pierre curtly replied, “It sounds like you already know the answer to that question.”
Doocy was not done questioning Jean-Pierre about the startling information that continues to emerge with regard to the president's handling of sensitive government materials and her seeming lack of information on the very latest developments.
“When you found out that the FBI located even more classified materials in Wilmington, which four letter word did you use?” Doocy inquired.
“Oh my goodness,” responded Jean-Pierre.
Former White House press secretary and Fox News host Dana Perino has blasted Biden and his chief of staff, Ron Klain, for leaving Jean-Pierre to “twist in the wind,” by not keeping her in the loop on new developments and ultimately undermining “her ability to have a command in that room” and losing the White House's grip on a narrative that increasingly appears to be spinning out of its control, and with more discoveries potentially on the horizon, it remains to be seen how much more she can take.