OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
FBI Director Christopher Wray made some eyebrow-raising comments this week about the bureau’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s home and the handling of the Hunter Biden laptop as well as classified documents being found at multiple President Biden locations.
During an interview on “Special Report,” Wray was grilled by host Bret Baier about the FBI raiding Mar-a-Lago last August and how many are pointing out how Biden recently got treated differently. Wray claims there was no bias and that Biden didn’t get special treatment – something many conservatives do not believe to be true.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
BAIER: “Let’s talk about the dual system that conservatives point to. The documents investigation for former President Trump and the raid that happens in Mar-a-Lago. That show of force, in that way, as opposed to the documents investigation for President Biden and how that went down. You find out about those documents before the November election; the FBI then does the search of the house after that but does not say anything prior to the midterm election. So those two things are stick in people’s minds as different, handled differently. How do you explain that?”
WRAY: “So, we have a long history of handling investigations into the mishandling of classified information. And our standard for approaching those investigations is the same, no matter who it is. Our basic approach is the same. Now, that approach means that we typically start with the least intrusive means to try to retrieve the improperly stored classified information. But if those less intrusive means don’t work, and certainly if they are frustrated in some way, then we adapt and turn to other legal tools that we have been entrusted with.”
BAIER: “Are you at the table for that decision of how it looks to go after a former president, like the way that it happened at Mar-a-Lago?”
WRAY: “Well, I oversee the FBI. I expect any significant investigation to be conducted by the book. And I do that with adherence to our rules, our policies, our practices.”
BAIER: “Why didn’t we know anything about the FBI looking into President Biden prior to the election?”
WRAY: “Well, again, I can’t talk about specific investigations that are ongoing, both of which are being led by special counsel, other than to say it is not our normal practice to discuss publicly specific investigations.”
BAIER: “Alright, so let’s talk about by the book.”
the FBI conducted a search of the Penn Biden Center much earlier than previously known or disclosed by the White House.
It happened after the president’s team contacted the National Archives to tell them that they found classified documents at the center in November.
An anonymous official for the Department of Justice informed CNN that there was no search warrant and the November search was done with the cooperation of the president’s legal team.
CNN reported: “The White House and Biden’s legal team did not previously disclose the FBI’s November search, in contrast to a search conducted by the bureau earlier this month at Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware. This latest revelation raises additional questions about how transparent the White House and Biden’s legal team have been about the government’s investigation into the president’s handling of classified documents, which is now being overseen by special counsel Robert Hur.”
Earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland said: “On November 9, the FBI commenced an assessment, consistent with standard protocols, to understand whether classified information had been mishandled in violation of federal law.”
And it appears as though Biden’s troubles with the Justice Department regarding possession of classified documents are wider than previously known, according to a report on Saturday.
NBC News noted that in addition to collecting the documents, FBI agents also scooped up several notebooks at Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home that he wrote during his tenure as vice president, according to sources who are familiar with the probe.
“The notebooks were seized because Biden’s notes on some of the pages relate to his official business as vice president, including details of his diplomatic engagements during the Obama administration, and may refer to classified information, this same person said, adding that the notebooks do not have classified markings on them, but some of the handwritten notes inside them could be considered as such given their sensitive content,” the report said.
“Other pages in the notebooks, while they may not contain potentially classified information, could still be considered government property under the Presidential Records Act because they pertain to official business Biden conducted as vice president, according to the person familiar with the investigation,” the report continued.
“The notebooks include a mix of handwritten notes from Biden on various topics, both personal and official, according to the person familiar with the seizure. On some pages Biden wrote down things about his family or his life unrelated to public office, said this same person. On other pages, he memorialized in writing some of his experiences or thoughts as vice president at the time, according to this same source,” NBC News noted further.
A source told the outlet that Biden kept a large number of notebooks but it isn’t clear how many were confiscated by FBI agents.