In the immediate wake of Monday’s FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, reportedly in search of missing classified documents, it seemed like nobody in President Joe Biden’s administration wanted to accept credit or responsibility for authorizing that highly unprecedented and seemingly politically motivated act.
However, Attorney General Merrick Garland eventually stepped forward on Thursday and acknowledged that he had “personally approved” the effort to obtain a search warrant that authorized the raid of the chief political rival of his own boss, the Daily Wire reported.
That admission from Garland contradicted an earlier report which asserted, albeit based on anonymous sources, that the attorney general had not been part of the decision-making or approval process before the raid and that it was FBI Director Christopher Wray who had ultimately granted authorization.
Garland claims he authorized a search warrant and raid of Trump’s home
Attorney General Garland delivered remarks to reporters on Thursday, though he took no questions, with regard to the FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday, and indicated that his Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and property receipt for public release.
Further, likely in response to the wild speculation that had filled the days of official silence, Garland admitted, “I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”
He added that the decision had not been made “lightly” and seemed to suggest that “less intrusive means as an alternative to a search” had been sought unsuccessfully, a clear implication that former President Trump had somehow forced him to authorize the FBI raid.
The attorney general went on to rebuke the supposedly “unfounded attacks on the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors,” and added, “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” which is laughable as there is ample foundation over the past several years, especially with regard to Trump, for questioning the “professionalism” and “integrity” of the DOJ and FBI.
The initial report claimed Garland did not authorize a raid or warrant
That admission from AG Garland that he “personally approved” the FBI raid on Trump’s home stands in stark contrast to an exclusive report on Wednesday from Newsweek — which has since been altered and updated — that had initially claimed that Garland had not been the one to authorize the raid and search warrant.
According to PJ Media, the Newsweek article claimed that a “senior Justice Department source says that Garland was regularly briefed on the Records Act investigation, and that he knew about the grand jury and what material federal prosecutors were seeking. He insists, though, that Garland had no prior knowledge of the date and time of the specific raid, nor was he asked to approve it.”
That unnamed official had pointed instead to the local U.S. Attorney and FBI Director Wray as having authorized the raid. In response to Garland’s admission Thursday, Newsweek has since removed that second sentence about Garland’s knowledge and approval from the article.
White House plays dumb, claims no advance knowledge of the raid
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre played dumb during Tuesday’s press briefing and rather dubiously claimed in regard to the FBI Trump raid that “The President was not briefed, did not — was not aware of it. No. No one at the White House was given a heads up.”
She went on to repeatedly dodge numerous questions about what was known by who and when and simply reiterated a handful of canned responses about the DOJ being an “independent” agency not under President Biden’s direct control and that the White House would not comment on any “ongoing investigations” while also referring all requests for specific answers to the DOJ — which quite conveniently is also refusing to answer any questions.