Democrat Schiff says national security may have been jeopardized by Biden’s mishandling of classified docs

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is not ruling out the possibility that national security may have been jeopardized by President Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.

Schiff appeared on ABC’s "This Week" on Sunday after a third batch of classified documents was found at Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Dec. 19, 2022, in Washington.

ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked Schiff whether it was possible national security had been jeopardized – an assessment Schiff made after the FBI seized classified documents from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August.

"I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts," Schiff said. "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 [Penn Biden Center] as well as the home of President Biden."

White House lawyer Richard Sauber said Saturday that six pages of classified documents were found during a search of Biden's private library. That announcement came after the discovery of documents in December in Biden's garage and in November at his former offices at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, from his time as vice president.

The apparent mishandling of classified documents and official records from the Obama administration is under investigation by a former U.S. attorney, Robert Hur, who was appointed as a special counsel on Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

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"I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the [special counsel’s] assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done," Schiff said. "I think that would be appropriate and consistent with what we requested in the case of Mar-a-Lago."

Sauber has previously said that the White House was "confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the president and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake."

Biden waving
President Joe Biden

Sauber's statement did not explain why the White House waited two days to provide an updated accounting of the number of classified records. The White House is already facing scrutiny for waiting more than two months to acknowledge the discovery of the initial group of documents at the Biden office.

Schiff said he would "reserve judgment" when asked whether the Biden administration should have revealed the discovery of the documents sooner.

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He added, "I think it’s important to point out that the Biden approach was very different in the sense that it looks – as far as we can tell – that it was inadvertent that these documents were in these locations."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.