Senate Intel Panel Vows to Get Access to Classified Docs (Newsmax)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 26 January 2023 09:01 AM EST
Frustrated members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are vowing to pursue all avenues to access the classified documents found at homes of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
After a Wednesday briefing with National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., said "all things will be on the table" to ensure the committee conducts its constitutional oversight responsibility, CNN reported.
Warner added that "every member" of the committee is "unanimous" that the Justice Department's current position to withhold the documents "is not going to stand, and all things will be on the table to make sure that doesn't happen," CNN reported.
"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," said committee member Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a separate special counsel in the Biden case and the Trump case. The DOJ insists the committee will not be allowed to see the discovered classified documents until the special counsels approve.
"We don't want to get into a question of threats at this point," Warner said, CNN reported. "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. The notion that we have to wait until a special prosecutor blesses the intelligence committee's oversight will not stand."
Committee Vice Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the meeting with Haines was "very unsatisfying."
"We simply want to know is, what was this information?" Rubio said, CNN reported. "What was these materials that they had? So that we can make an honest assessment when they provide us a risk assessment, of whether or not they've taken the proper mitigation, if any was necessary."
The Senate committee initially requested "a damage assessment of any national security threat posed by the mishandling of this information" after the FBI's raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in August.
Classified documents recently were discovered at Biden's former Washington office and home in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
"[I'm disappointed] with the lack of detail and a timeline on when we're going to get a briefing," Warner said, according to CNN. "It is our responsibility to make sure that we, in as role of the intelligence oversight, know if there's been any intelligence compromised."