Warner and Rubio: The press knows more about classified documents than Congress

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) the top lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, criticized the level of access that congressional leaders have had to classified documents found in the possession of current and former presidents and vice presidents, saying the press knows more about the nature of the materials than lawmakers do.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that there isn’t some media report about what was found where, some sort of characterization of the material in the press,” Rubio said. “Somehow the only people who are not allowed to know what was in there are congressional oversight committees.”

Warner and Rubio are pushing for a briefing from federal officials on the contents of the classified documents that were found in the homes of President Biden, former President Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence. But while authorities have said they have cooperated with congressional requests for information, they cannot disclose the contents of the material, as they are the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Warner and Rubio said they don’t understand how lawmakers having knowledge of the material interferes with the investigations.

“I don’t know how congressional oversight on the documents, actually knowing what they are, in any way impedes an investigation,” Rubio said. “These are probably materials we already have access to. We just don’t know which ones they are.”

Warner said that he did not have a timeline for when they would have access to the information in the documents.

“The Justice Department has had the Trump documents for about six months, the Biden documents about three months,” Warner said. “Our job is not to figure out if somebody mishandled those. Our job is to make sure there’s not an intelligence compromise.”

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