President Joe Biden insisted on Wednesday that he had “zero” advanced notice of an August 8 FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s residence.
The FBI raid, unprecedented in U.S. history, kicked off speculation of who knew about it beforehand, and to what extent Biden himself was involved in the law enforcement action against a potential 2024 adversary. Fox News reporter Peter Doocy put the question to Biden on Wednesday.
“I didn’t have any advanced notice. None. Zero. Not one single bit,” Biden responded, putting his thumb and forefinger together to form a zero to emphasize his answer.
Biden insists he had zero advance awareness of the FBI's raid on Trump pic.twitter.com/v1OF27D2F6
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 24, 2022
Following days of silence after the raid, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in an August 11 press conference that he green-lit the raid and would request that the warrant, which was then under seal by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, be made public. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has resisted making the affidavit, which shows what evidence the FBI presented to Reinhart to obtain the warrant, public.
Reinhart on Monday ordered the DOJ to submit a redacted version of the affidavit for potential release to the public. The judge appeared partial to arguments made by media companies and watchdog groups, but granted that the DOJ raised valid concerns about keeping aspects of the document secret.
Trump filed a civil lawsuit over the raid on Monday. Trump asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida, who Trump nominated to the bench in 2020, to appoint a special master to oversee the FBI audit of the materials seized during the raid. He also asked for the court to force the FBI to return any documents that were seized that fall outside the scope of the warrant.
Cannon asked for clarity on Tuesday on what “precise relief” Trump is seeking in the suit. She asked Trump’s legal team for five points of clarity and requested a response by Friday.