Republicans and Democrats Agree They Are Unsatisfied With Briefing on Classified Documents

Republicans and Democrats Agree They Are Unsatisfied With Briefing on Classified Documents
Documents seized during the Aug. 8 raid by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla, in a photo released on Aug. 30, 2022. (FBI via The Epoch Times)

The leadership of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said on Feb. 28 they were unsatisfied with the information offered to them in their briefing about the exposure of classified documents.

According to the statement, the senators’ briefing by members of the intelligence community, and the Department of Justice left “much to be desired.”

“In accordance with our responsibility to oversee the Intelligence Community and protect our national security, today we met with leaders from the IC and the Justice Department to discuss the exposure of classified documents,” a joint statement from Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said.

“While today’s meeting helped shed some light on these issues, it left much to be desired and we will continue to press for full answers to our questions in accordance with our constitutional oversight obligations.”

The so-called “Gang of Eight,” consisting of the top Republicans and Democrats in current congressional leadership, were briefed behind closed doors on further details about the contents of the documents, but not the actual documents themselves, according to a report by ABC News.

Rubio said in a March 1 post on Twitter that the briefing “provided us with a few answers” but “left us with a lot more questions.”

Warner and Rubio previously asked to view the records that the Justice Department had taken from President Joe Biden’s former office in Washington, his house in Wilmington, Delaware, and former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

They reportedly made the request in an effort to assess the risk that the two alleged violations of the Presidential Records Act presented to national security. The pair also requested risk assessments from top intelligence officers.

The senators termed their demands as “narrowly tailored” to the matter at hand, in their Feb. 2 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

“Our letters explicitly recognized the need to protect the Department’s ongoing investigations. Mindful of the Department’s interests, the letters were narrowly tailored and only requested access to the relevant classified documents and an assessment of the risk to national security if the documents were to be exposed in public or to a foreign adversary,” the lawmakers said.

In the same letter, the senators also rejected the DOJ’s justification that the records can’t be released because of the current investigations.

“Our request is not unprecedented,” the senators said, referencing the argument that an ongoing investigation would prevent their viewing the documents.

“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 this committee without detriment to any ongoing investigation.”

Both senators’ offices responded to The Epoch Times’s request for additional information by referencing the joint statement as their complete comments on the subject.

From The Epoch Times

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