Fox News reporter Peter Doocy has got to be White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s worst nightmare.
Following the stunning news that the FBI had found six additional classified “items” during a 12-hour search of President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, residence on Friday, Jean-Pierre was likely cringing inside as she called on Doocy at Monday’s press briefing.
He asked, “When you found out that the FBI had located even more classified materials in Wilmington, which four-letter word did you use?”
In what had to be one of the most light-hearted moments ever shared between the two, a broad smile crossed Jean-Pierre’s face as she laughed out loud at the unexpected question. “Oh my goodness, Peter,” she replied, chuckling again.
Peter Doocy to Karine Jean-Pierre: “When you found out that the FBI had located even more classified materials in Wilmington, which four letter word did you use?” pic.twitter.com/Bf0hxugkyI
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 23, 2023
Unfortunately for the press secretary, the levity didn’t last.
In the video below, which captures their full exchange, Doocy launched into a more serious set of questions, the type Jean-Pierre had no doubt been bracing for when she first called on him.
“President Biden is still intending to run for re-election in 2024, right?” he asked.
“I’ll just repeat what the President said after the midterm election which is he intends to run. I’m going to be very careful from here, as you know, because we are covered by the Hatch Act and I’m not going to speak further to this process,” she said.
According to the Justice Department, the Hatch Act forbids federal “employees from engaging in partisan political activity while on duty, in a federal facility or using federal property.”
“Is there a precedent for people running for president after FBI agents search their sock drawer?” he asked.
(The “sock drawer” question was an apparent reference to the FBI’s August raid on former President Donald Trump’s home in the Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida. “An FBI search of a president’s residence is a big, big deal,” Doocy said.)
Clearly annoyed, Jean-Pierre told Doocy, “It sounds like you already know the answer to that question. Look … here’s what the president’s going to focus on. He’s going to focus on continuing to deliver for the American people. …”
His next question was even more pointed: “The House Oversight Committee chairman says this document situation has all the makings of a potential coverup. Is President Biden involved in a coverup?”
Comer told host Maria Bartiromo: “This has all the pattern of an influence-peddling scheme, and it also has the makings of a potential cover-up. Five different locations at least. Who knows what those personal attorneys have been doing, and when you look at all the things that our investigation is covering with respect to the influence peddling, there’s a lot of connections with the [Chinese Communist Party] directly to both Hunter Biden, Hunter Biden’s uncle Jim, and Joe Biden.”
Following a brief pause, Jean-Pierre’s tone grew serious.
“We’ve been very clear here from this administration, the president has been very clear that, um, he takes this very seriously, when it comes to classified information. … And that his team has been fully cooperative,” she said, before referring Doocy to the White House counsel.
And with that, she ended the exchange and called on the next reporter.
Doocy is one of the few reporters in the White House press corps who’s willing to hold this administration to account. Despite repeated claims by White House officials and even Biden himself that they are fully cooperating with the DOJ’s investigation, the drip, drip, drip of newly unearthed documents suggests otherwise.
The decision to send FBI agents to Biden’s Wilmington home to conduct a search hints of an escalation of the investigation. Up until Friday, the DOJ had been content with allowing Biden’s attorneys to find the documents.
Comments made by Biden on Thursday that he has “no regrets” and that “there is no there, there” didn’t age well. In addition to the six new “items” the FBI found, we learned over the weekend that the documents ultimately found in Biden’s Penn-Biden Center office on Nov. 2, had been moved twice before they arrived there.
On Friday, the U.K. Daily Mail reported that when the Obama administration ended in January of 2017, Biden’s documents were transported first to a “government transition office near the White House.”
In July 2017, they were taken to a temporary storage facility in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C. that was “overseen” by the Penn Biden Center, a think tank established by the University of Pennsylvania. The documents were later moved to the center’s headquarters, which opened in 2018.
As it turns out, there is some “there there” and a person with any decency would have regrets about this situation.
And Doocy is right to ask the tough questions because Americans want answers.
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