Warner, Rubio call for ‘immediate compliance’ with request for Trump, Biden classified documents
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have sent a letter to senior Biden administration officials urging “immediate compliance” with their request to see classified documents seized at President Biden’s Delaware home and former Washington office and at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
In the letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the senators dismiss the Department of Justice’s argument that the documents can’t be shared because of its ongoing investigation into whether classified information was mishandled.
Warner and Rubio want to review the classified documents that were seized as well as an assessment of the risk to national security if those documents were exposed to a foreign adversary. They say their request is “narrowly tailored.”
“As outlined in our prior letters, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is charged with overseeing counterintelligence matters, including the handling or mishandling of classified information,” they wrote.
“Without access to the relevant classified documents we cannot effectively oversee the efforts of the Intelligence Community to address potential risks to national security arising from the mishandling of this classified information,” they wrote.
The letter follows one they sent to the senior officials in August 2022 requesting all documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and another sent in January requesting documents discovered at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
“As of this writing, neither of you have complied with these requests, citing the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigations of both matters,” Warner and Rubio wrote.
The Justice Department replied in a letter dated Jan. 28 that it had to “maintain the confidentiality” of the investigation and must balance the intelligence committee’s desire to review the documents with the “integrity of law enforcement operations.”
Warner and Rubio, however, argued in their most recent letter “the Department alone does not decide this balance.”
They point out that their request is not unprecedented and that “in other investigations involving the mishandling of classified information the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence have accommodated the legitimate oversight needs” of their committee.
“As we expressed previously, in light of the substantial public interest, the need for bipartisan and responsible oversight of these matters is at its highest,” they wrote.
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