Adam Schiff calls for national security threat assessment of Biden’s handling of classified papers

California Rep Adam Schiff says that the handling of classified documents discovered at President Joe Biden’s home and former office must be assessed to see if it endangered US national security.

Speaking on This Week on Sunday, Mr Schiff told Jon Karl of ABC News that Attorney General Merrick Garland made “the right move” in appointing a special counsel to investigate the discovery of the classified papers.

“The attorney general has to make sure that not only is justice evenly applied, but the appearances of justice are also satisfactory to the public,” he said.

“I don’t think he had any choice but to appoint a special counsel. And I think that special counsel will do the proper assessment.”

The Democrat lawmaker then said a national security risk assessment of the Biden papers discovery was warranted as was one into the documents found at former president Donald Trump’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.

Mr Karl asked the congressman if he thought national security has been jeopardised by the actions of the current and previous presidents.

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“I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts,” replied Mr Schiff. “We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents. I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden.”

Asked if the White House should have been more transparent about the discovery of the documents in a more timely manner even if it had been days before the midterms, Mr Schiff said: “I think the administration will need to answer that question. I’m going to reserve judgment until they do.”

The longtime Trump foe and member of the House January 6 select committee noted that there is nevertheless a distinct difference between the ways in which Mr Biden and Mr Trump have handled their respective transgressions with classified materials.

Mr Biden has been complying with the investigation into the handling of his documents, whereas Mr Trump’s home was raided by the FBI after he refused to comply with a subpoena ordering the return of any materials he removed from the White House at the end of his term in office.

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Fellow Democrat and January 6 committee member Rep Jamie Raskin also commented on the furore surrounding the Biden classified documents during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning.

He told Jake Tapper there should be a “sense of symmetry” and a “sense of proportion” when comparing the Trump and Biden classified documents cases and that it was correct for both cases to be investigated by special counsels.