President Biden said Thursday that he had not been notified in advance of the FBI’s execution of the search warrants at the office and home of Rudolph W. Giuliani, citing his pledge not to interfere with the law enforcement issues.
“I give you my word, I haven’t been,” Biden said in a recorded interview with NBC at the White House early Thursday, before traveling to Georgia.
“I made a promise,” Biden said in the interview, which airs Friday morning on “The Today Show.” “I would not interfere in any way – order or try to stop any investigation the Department of Justice had in their way. I learned this last night when the rest of the world found out. “
During his presidential campaign, Biden vowed to restore the independence of the Justice Department after years of Trump administration policies that led to allegations of political interference and retaliation.
Federal investigators on Wednesday seized the cellphones and computers of Mr. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who became the personal lawyer for President Donald J. Trump, stepping up a criminal investigation into Mr. Giuliani’s transactions in Ukraine.
“It is not the president’s role to say who should be prosecuted, when he should be prosecuted, who should not be prosecuted,” Biden said. “It’s not the president’s role. The Department of Justice is the people’s advocate, not the president’s advocate.
When asked if he had been informed of any further investigation, Mr Biden replied, “No, and I am not asking to be informed. He added that Mr. Trump “politicized the Justice Department so badly, so many of them have resigned, so many have left.”
The president’s remarks were made when his predecessor, Mr. Trump, told Fox Business the search was “as if unfair” and called Mr. Giuliani a “great patriot”.
“I don’t know what they’re looking for, what they’re doing,” Trump told Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “They say it had to do with the filing of various papers, the lobbying filings.”
In December 2019, Mr Trump was impeached, in part, for trying to pressure Ukraine ahead of the US election to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of his political rival, by threatening to deny aid to the country .