WH: We won’t say how Biden got documents because DOJ will answer that


During MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” broadcast on Monday, White House spokesman for oversight and investigations, Special Assistant to President Joe Biden and senior White House counsel Ian Sams declined to answer questions about how President Joe Biden came to classified documents. because people at the Justice Department “will be the ones answering these questions” and they don’t want to interfere with the DOJ’s investigation by answering how Biden got to the documents.

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Co-host Mika Brzezinski asked, “As you just heard from Congressman Schiff (D-CA), it is quite unusual to leave a SCIF with anything classified and take classified documents home. How did this happen?”

Sams replied, “Look, I think you’ve heard the president speak about this, you’ve heard the president’s personal attorneys speak about this.” The president takes this seriously and that is why he cooperates fully with the Justice Department. We are monitoring the DOJ throughout this investigation and making sure they have access to the information they need to conduct an efficient and thorough assessment. That is why the president and his lawyers provided access – unprecedented access, I should add – to every room of the president’s personal home to ensure that all documents that must be properly held by the government are seized and properly owned by the government. So from the very beginning, when the team first discovered materials, they got it right. They handled it responsibly with the proper authorities, first with the National Archives, then with the Ministry of Justice. And that may be a contrast to what we’ve seen in recent years. But this is a president who believes in the rule of law, a president who understands the importance of an independent Justice Department, which is why he gives them access to the information they need to conduct a thorough investigation, and the DOJ , at the end of this review will be able to present the full set of facts.

Brzezinski continued, “Okay, so I understand it didn’t really answer my question, but I agree, it’s been handled completely differently. There is a stark contrast to the Mar-a-Lago documents. Put that aside for a moment. How could this have happened, and do you agree that it is a serious problem to have classified documents that are not in the right place?”

Sams replied, “Yes. Look, the president is taking this very seriously, as you’ve heard him say several times over the past week. And I understand the question of how this happened. And I think it’s very important to understand that this is exactly the sort of thing that a Justice Department investigation would be looking at. And so, if you rightly believe in the independence of a Justice Department to conduct investigations without undue influence and interference, then this president has [to], going all the way back to the campaign, which is why we refer to the Department of Justice to answer some of these questions. They are tasked with finding all the facts, putting it all together, understanding exactly what happened, asking the questions. That is appropriate. Therefore, we are fully cooperating to understand how this happened. And the president –.”

Co-host Joe Scarborough then interjected, asking, “But wait a minute, doesn’t the president know?” Should the DOJ tell the president why the president has classified documents in his house? I do not understand that.”

Sams replied, “Joe, I understand the question. And I think it’s really just — gets to the heart of the matter. The DOJ is the one tasked with finding out all the facts here and the DOJ is going to ask questions and the DOJ is going to find information. And we are fully cooperating with that process. We hope that process is thorough and efficient so that we can get all the answers. And so we’re just going to be respectful. I think it is more appropriate that questions about the underlying investigation be handled by the Justice Department, but again, we are going to cooperate fully and make sure they have access to what they need.”

Brzezinski then asked, “Okay, Ian, the question, I’m kind of stuck here, I understand there’s an investigation, there’s a limit to what you can say and stuff, but there’s clear possibilities here.” how on earth could this have happened. Are there things you can share with us?”

Sams responded, “Well, again, I understand you’re asking these questions, but we want to be very careful to respect the DOJ’s investigation. And look, they’re going to ask these questions. They will be the ones answering these questions and providing information about them. And we want to make sure we respect that process as it unfolds.

Sams later stated: “[I]It is important that the full set of facts is collected by the Department of Justice and then made public so that people can understand all these details. That is the task of the Ministry of Justice, an independent, strong Ministry of Justice.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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