Senate Intelligence Committee wants access to misplaced classified docs

Yesterday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee held a closed-door meeting with National Intelligence Director Avril Haines. The subject of the meeting was the ongoing investigation into the discovery of classified documents in the possession of Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. 

Members of the committee told Haines that the documents need to be reviewed by them as part of their oversight of the intelligence community. But in statements released by committee members of both parties after the meeting, they claimed that the Biden administration is stonewalling them and refusing to produce the documents. 

“It is our responsibility to make sure that we, in the role of the intelligence oversight, know if there’s been any intelligence compromised,” said Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner.

No members in the House or Senate are allowed to sit on either the Intelligence or Armed Services committees without having been granted the highest security clearances. So the Biden administration can’t claim that sharing the documents inside of a secure setting would compromise national security. (Or at least it wouldn’t be compromised any more than has already happened after some of the papers were within Hunter Biden’s reach for years on end.)

The other excuse offered by Avril Haines was that sharing the documents could compromise an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department into the handling of classified documents by both Trump and Biden. That excuse was quickly batted down by the senators when they pointed out that there is plenty of precedent for honoring their request. During the DoJ’s Russia investigation, the committee was given access to classified documents that were part of then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

The Senators may do more than sit there and act frustrated. Marco Rubio rather bluntly reminded everyone that the Senate regularly has to approve funding for the intelligence community. The unspoken part of that threat (which he insisted wasn’t really a “threat) is the suggestion that elements of the DoJ could see their funding decreased if they don’t cooperate with the Senate’s oversight role.

So what could be in those documents that is making Biden’s team so reluctant to release them in a classified setting? I rather doubt that any of the remaining documents will contain any bombshell revelations about Biden Incorporated. If such documents had existed, they almost certainly went into a burn barrel long before the FBI was finally “invited” to come to search Joe Biden’s properties.

Sadly, we are unlikely to find out the answer to that question any time soon even if the committee gains full access. They can’t release the information to the public without being guilty of the same crimes that Trump, Biden and Pence could potentially be facing. Perhaps we’ll find out in the future when someone releases a memoir, but at least for now, this will probably remain a mystery.

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