Everything we know so far about the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid

What's in the box?

Donald Trump.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

President Biden was not briefed on Monday night's raid on Mar-a-Lago before it happened, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.

In response to questions from reporters, Jean-Pierre said that the "Justice department conducts investigations independently," that Biden believes "that those investigations should be free from political influence," and that the president "learned about" the raid "from public reports" just like everyone else.

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She also had a tense exchange with Fox News' Peter Doocy. "Is there a concern here that — if you guys don't say more — that these Republicans, who are accusing this White House of weaponizing the Justice Department and weaponizing the FBI, are — that that's going to become the public sentiment if you guys don't say, once and for all, 'We are not doing that'?" he asked.

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"First of all, we're just not going to comment on the Department of Justice investigation," Jean-Pierre responded.

Doocy pressed further, asking, "Is this White House weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI against political opponents?" In response, Jean-Pierre referred Doocy to Biden's remarks on Jan. 7, 2021, when the president-elect called for an independent, apolitical Justice Department, loyal "not to me" but "to the law."

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The FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday evening. "Nothing like this has ever happened to a president of the United States before," Trump said, adding that "such an assault could only take place in broken, Third World countries."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.