Rubio, Warner slam ‘Gang of Eight’ briefing on classified doc scandals: ‘Left much to be desired’

Senate Intel Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) commented on Tuesday that the “Gang of Eight” briefing by the intelligence community and the Justice Department on the classified document scandals “left much to be desired.”

(Video Credit: Face the Nation)

Classified documents have been found at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, at President Biden’s homes and former offices, and at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Indiana. The Senate Intel Committee wants answers from government agencies on how that happened and what can be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“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,” Warner and Rubio said in a joint statement.

“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 committee leaders announced.

The Gang of Eight includes Warner and Rubio as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio), and Ranking Member Jim Himes (D-Conn.)

Lawmakers were unwilling to further comment as they came out of the sensitive compartmented information facility at the Capitol’s visitor center.

Schumer, who attended the briefing, commented before the session that “we want to make sure that intelligence stuff is protected as much as possible.”

“That’s the key,” he asserted, according to The Hill.

Warner and Rubio have both demanded that the Justice Department show them the classified documents that were seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home and former Washington, D.C. office.

They also requested a risk assessment be provided by top intelligence officials so they can determine if there is a threat to national security concerning the exposure of the documents in connection to the alleged violations of the Presidential Records Act.

The senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines earlier in February that asserted their requesters were “narrowly tailored” in response to the DOJ’s contention that the documents can’t be shared due to ongoing investigations.

They argued in the letter that without access to the relevant documents they could not “effectively oversee the efforts of the Intelligence community to address risks to national security arising from the mishandling of classified information.”

It is unknown if the “Gang of Eight” was allowed to view the sensitive documents that were obtained by the Department of Justice from both Trump and Biden.

The FBI seized over 300 classified documents from Trump in August.

In January, CBS News reported that approximately a dozen classified documents, some reportedly concerning Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom that were from Biden’s days as vice president were discovered by his lawyers in November 2022 at the Penn Biden Center think tank. More documents were found by his attorneys at his Delaware home. The FBI would go on to find more from his time as vice president and from when he was a senator.


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