The White House issued its strongest — if still limited — explanation for why it has repeatedly released insufficient information about documents in President Joe Biden’s office and home, insisting Tuesday that protecting the Justice Department’s investigation meant preventing what could be released. publicly.
“I understand that there is a trade-off between protecting and protecting the integrity of an ongoing investigation by making information public,” said Ian Sams, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office.
He also said that as the Ministry of Justice, as well as a special judge, is investigating the matter, it was “natural” that this would happen.
“In every investigation, as the investigation continues, especially investigations where people cooperate and work together with the department to review these things, the information is improving,” he said. “This is a natural part of any research.”
Biden’s representatives “wanted to be respectful in trying to provide as much information as possible, to try to communicate the need to provide information to all of you in relation to this investigation,” Sams continued.
The Justice Department has not told the White House to limit the information being released to the public, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.
The White House has been criticized, even by some Democrats, for how it handled the issue of Biden’s handling of classified documents. This includes what was disclosed and when, including the failure to report that additional documents were found at Mr. Biden’s home when the disclosure documents were found at his office.
The White House also waited more than 24 hours to reveal five more documents that were found at Biden’s Delaware home last week. And nothing about the matter was revealed to the public for months after Biden’s lawyers first obtained the confidential material in early November.
The immediacy of the revelations has raised questions about the White House’s approach, and prompted Republicans to say that the Biden team is not forthcoming about the findings. House Republicans have vowed to investigate the matter themselves, and have begun sending requests for oversight to the White House.
Sams said the White House would consider how to respond to the requests “in due course,” but accused Republicans of turning the documents into “political and political theater.”
Despite the White House’s efforts to confirm its communications efforts, several questions about the matter remain unanswered. This includes whether Mr. Biden himself will testify before the special counsel, Mr. Robert Hur, who is investigating the matter.
“We don’t go ahead with special counsel and guess what they may or may not ask,” Sams said.
When CNN’s MJ Lee asked why Biden’s lawyers were involved in the cleaning of his office in Washington, Mr. Sams noted that the job was difficult, because of his residence.
“I think it’s important to know that you know, this is the President of the United States, and this is a personal matter. And, you know, his trusted aides were working on cleaning the office and I think that’s self-explanatory,” he said.
Once Hur completes his research, Sams said the information will be shared with the public.
“Many answers from here may have to wait until the end of the review of the special counsel,” he said. “But for now, we want to cooperate with the review, so that it can proceed quickly and efficiently.”
This article has been updated with additional reporting.