Timeline is off: KJP hammered for false statement after new batch of docs were found

Thanks to White House Special Counsel Richard Sauber’s statement regarding additional classified documents found at President Joe Biden’s Delaware home, a review of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s claims from two days earlier on the progress of the investigation left some suggesting, “Amazing what you can find when you quit looking.”

Efforts to deflect and diminish the initial report that classified documents had been located at Biden’s former office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement have presented as increasingly foolish as further discoveries have been made. By Thursday, the public was well aware that at least one additional document had been located in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington, DE home as part of the ongoing investigation.

When asked about this during the White House press briefing, reporters pushed back on the suggestion that the search had been completed and asked Jean-Pierre to confirm whether there were other possible locations that documents might have been stored, potentially already being searched.

To those queries, she replied, “So, as–as–I’m just going to–again, that statement pretty much lays–lays that–lays it out, that they–they have–as far as the lawyers, they look through the places where documents could have been stored, and the Counsel’s Office released a statement on that. Now it is in the hands of the special counsel.”

A follow-up asked her to confirm, “So we should assume that it has been completed?” and to that she said, “It–it–you should assume that it’s been completed, yes.”

At multiple points in the briefing after that the press secretary again contended that the search had been “completed” despite previous assurances to the same leaving her spinning, “The search was continuing. It was ongoing. The process, as I have been saying, was ongoing. And the search is clearly complete, and therefore we shared the information with all of you.”

Only two days later that was proven to be false as Sauber released a statement Saturday announcing that he had traveled to Delaware on Thursday to facilitate transfer of the previously reported classified document to the Justice Department only to uncover five more documents.

“While I was transferring it to the DOJ officials who accompanied me,” the special counsel said, “five additional pages with classification markings were discovered among the material with it, for a total of six pages. The DOJ officials with me immediately took possession of them.”

Half-hearted defenses that suggested the search as far as Biden’s attorneys were permitted was complete didn’t negate the fact that those in charge who had tasked them with conducting the review of the president’s stored files were well aware proper clearances for a thorough search were lacking.

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Kevin Haggerty

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