Both Democratic and Republican senators on the Intelligence Committee have issued demands to see purportedly classified documents that were in the possession of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) said that senators may have to take dramatic action to obtain the documents. “All things will be on the table” now, he said, although he did not elaborate on what senators may do.
“We don’t want to get into a question of threats at this point. But we want to say this though: We have a job to do, it is our job to make sure that the security of our country is protected and that the intelligence that our country depends upon is not compromised,” Warner told reporters Wednesday. “The notion that we have to wait until a special prosecutor blesses the intelligence committee’s oversight will not stand.”
Earlier this month, the Democrat senator expressed alarm after Biden’s lawyers confirmed he had classified documents from when he was a senator or vice president in his possession. Warner was also frustrated last year when his committee wasn’t granted access to review documents that were taken from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in August.
“Every member of the committee, regardless of Democrat or Republican, [was] unanimous in that this position that we are left in … until somehow a special counsel designates that it’s OK for us to get briefed, is not going to stand,” Warner told ABC News. “And all things will be on the table to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Members of the committee held a two-hour meeting with Biden’s Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Wednesday, they told reporters. Several of the members told the outlet that they might block Biden’s nominees and grind business to a halt in the upper chamber.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) also told reporters that “there will be pain as a consequence” of the Biden administration’s stonewalling, adding he will “take every step I can” to block nominees or withhold funding for federal programs.
The Epoch Times has contacted the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for comment.
“The administration is stonewalling Congress on the classified documents present at President Trump’s residence and President Biden’s residence and office, which is totally unacceptable,” Cotton said Wednesday. “The members of the Intelligence Committee—for that matter, the members of Congress have an absolute right to this information so we can make an informed judgment about the risk, if any, these documents have posed to our national security by being improperly handled,” he said.
“Until the administration stops stonewalling Congress, there will be pain as a consequence for them,” the Arkansas senator declared. “I’m prepared to refuse consent or to fast track any nominee for any department or agency and take every step I can on every committee on which I serve to impose consequences on the administration until they provide these documents,” he told CNN.
Another member, vice-chair Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), added that it “cannot be that your answer is that we can’t tell you what was discovered until the special counsel allows us to,” reported ABC. “The information we’re asking for has no bearing whatsoever, that would interfere in no way, with a criminal investigation.”
Biden, whose documents dated from his time as vice president and as a Delaware senator, and Trump, who had been engaging with the National Archives over the records, are both facing special counsel investigations by the Justice Department over improper handling of classified materials.
During a presidential transition period, the records from each administration are supposed to be turned over to the legal custody of the U.S. National Archives. It is unlawful to knowingly or willfully remove or retain classified material. Failure to properly store and secure classified material poses risks to national security if it should fall into the wrong hands.
A lawyer for former Vice President Mike Pence this week confirmed that classified materials were found at Pence’s Indiana home this week. The revelation drew a rare comment of praise from Trump, who wrote that Pence is “an innocent man.”
“Mike Pence is an innocent man. He never did anything knowingly dishonest in his life. Leave him alone!!!” Trump wrote on Truth Social Tuesday.
A spokesman for former President Barack Obama told Reuters when asked about possible classified documents or searches that his office had been given a “clean bill of health” by the National Archives.
The administration of George W. Bush “turned all Presidential records over—both classified and unclassified—upon leaving the White House,” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford told Reuters.
White House Response
Amid the disclosures that Biden had classified documents in his possession, it has drawn a chain of letters from House Republicans, who have demanded information from various federal agencies about the investigation or what was found.
This week, White House counsel Stuart Delery wrote to House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) that the administration doesn’t have possession of documents found at Biden’s home or office in recent weeks.
“The Biden Administration takes seriously the security and protection of government records, particularly classified information,” Delery wrote in a letter. “We look forward to engaging in good faith with you and your staff regarding your requests. To that end, White House staff will reach out to Committee staff to arrange a time to discuss this matter.”
Reuters contributed to this report.
“Every member of the committee, regardless of Democrat or Republican, [was] unanimous in that this position that we are left in … until somehow a special counsel designates that it’s OK for us to get briefed, is not going to stand,”
It is absurd that a designated special counsel thinks that he has power above Congress. Or an appointed Judge can overrule an executive order of an elected president.
I guarantee you, after Biden’s non-classified approved lawyers got through rifling through Joe’s stash of exculpatory or convicting evidence, all things will not be on the table, but Biden guilt scrubbed left-overs. Just how naïve and stupid do they think WE THE PEOPLE are? When someone treats you with this kind of disrespect you surely don’t vote them into office. You throw them out on their ears. It is the committee who controls the special prosecutor, not the other way around. Rank does have it’s privileges, as the rankest most odoriferous President on record has now shown us. None but the most arrogant age depleted overconfident SOB would have left highly classified, probably stolen, documents lying about his properties after what happened at Mar-a-Lago, unless he felt totally confident the had the FBI in his pocket, which at least those who now and have recently run it appear to be. I’m sure by now his lawyers have laundered those documents cleaner than a Biden Ukrainian kickback. Time that Oscar Meyer Weiner whistles be issued to all new FBI hires as standard equipment for whistleblowing removal of Biden type men who think themselves real efficient political coverup hotdogs.
Laundered, at the least…
I’d think the bigger point, which will get buried, why does a Vice President have classified documents to take home? Seems the bigger question is, why did Obama let that happen? Notice Obama is nowhere to be found on this. Probably the first time in Obama’s history he’s been totally silent.
AND why did he have docs, from his time as a Senator?!
Not just WHY did he have them.. BUT WHY HAS HE had them for 6+ years, and its ONLY NOW coming out?
I think you are saying that the real scandal is not that Biden was in possession of classified documents but rather the likely real scandal is why he had those documents. If that is what you mean, then I agree.
With Hillary Clinton, I suspect the real scandal is not her mishandling of classified documents, but whatever it was that she was trying to hide from potentially prying eyes by having a private server. I suspect similarly of Biden, that he was trying to hide wrongdoing.
I don’t believe we were ever told why Sandy Berger tried to steal classified documents by hiding them in his underwear and socks. I suspect he was trying to hide some corruption too.
Actually, Obama’s too busy bloviating about the evils of misinformation (from the right of course) while both lyin Biden’s and his own pants are on fire from their lies. Larry Elder has a series of articles listing a selection of their garbage that the media won’t touch.
The justice department is rapidly becoming a third rail of government which rules instead of serving the American people. These are unelected tyrants who have anointed themselves the arbitrators of who shall rule and who will be eliminated. They are drunk with power and until someone is actually held accountable through real prosecution and ultimately a conviction, they will continue to control the political landscape. With all that is wrong in the Washington swamp our justice department is the most corrupt and vile creature there. Nothing will improve, it will only deteriorate so long as we have an unjust justice department.