GOP Sen. Rubio and Democratic Sen. Warner say lack of access to Biden and Trump documents ‘can’t stand’
The senses. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mark Warner, D-Va., sat down for a rare bipartisan interview in which they criticized the Director of National Intelligence’s refusal to brief members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on content of the classified ad. documents found in the residences of President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Rubio, the committee’s vice chairman, and Warner, the committee’s chairman, appeared together on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” after attending a closed-door briefing last week with Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. The DNI reportedly said the special advocates’ separate investigations into the two cases prevented it from granting them visibility on the documents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents following an FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in August. Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents after materials were discovered in unsecured locations at this home in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.
Rubio and Warner have expressed frustration that Congress and the American public are being kept in the dark about the contents of the classified documents in both cases unless that special counsel says all is well.
HUNTER BIDEN, CHINA, CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS: MYSTERY REVOLVES AROUND PENN BIDEN CENTER
“The Department of Justice had the Trump documents for about six months, the Biden documents for about three months – our job is not to determine whether someone mishandled them, but our job is to make sure that he there is no intelligence compromise,” Warner said. “And whereas the director of national intelligence had been willing to inform us earlier, now that you have the special advocate, the idea that we’re going to be left in limbo, and we can’t do our job – c ‘is just can’t stand.”
“I don’t know how congressional scrutiny of the documents, in fact knowing what they are, in any way impedes the investigation,” Rubio added. “These are probably documents that we already have access to, we just don’t know which ones. And it’s not about being nosy, you know, here’s the bottom line: if, in fact, these documents were very sensitive , were sensitive, and pose a counterintelligence or national security threat to the United States, then intelligence agencies are tasked with finding ways to mitigate that.”
LAW PROFESSOR JONATHAN TURLEY SAYS BIDEN SHOULD RAISE ‘THE BAR ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO DELAWARE DOCUMENTS’
“It’s an untenable situation which I think needs to be resolved,” Rubio said.
Warner said the argument that they can’t do their job “until the special prosecutor somehow says it’s okay doesn’t hold water.”
“We have the right, not only as members of the Intelligence Committee, but as members of the leadership, to see virtually any classified material,” he said. “But we have a problem, in terms of classification levels, how senior elected officials leave government, how they deal with documents. We’ve had too many examples of that.”
MANCHIN SAYS BIDEN “SHOULD HAVE A LOT OF REGRETS” OVER MISHANDLING OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS
Some Republican committee members have threatened to withhold funding for intelligence agencies if they don’t get more visibility on the documents.
“There are things that we have to do as a committee every year to authorize a movement of funds,” Rubio said. “I think the director of national intelligence and other heads of intelligence agencies are aware of that. At some point, I’d rather they just call us this morning or tomorrow or whenever and say, ‘ Listen, this is the arrangement that we think we can reach for the guards to have access to. I’d rather not go down that road, but it’s one of the levers we have as Congress.”
Warner signaled that it would support the threatening funding.
“We’re going to find a way to make sure we get that access so that we can not only tell the American people, but we still have 85 American senators who aren’t on the intelligence committee looking to us for those insurance,” Warner said.
[gptGOP Sen. Rubio and Democratic Sen. Warner say lack of access to Biden and Trump documents ‘can’t stand’