U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is now joining Republicans in calling upon the Biden administration to provide transparency regarding the classified documents scandal.
Warner recently teamed up with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in sending a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and National Intelligence Director Avril Haines.
Warner is the chair and Rubio is the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
The letter was sent on Thursday, Feb. 2. It, in brief, calls for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to comply with a review that the committee is trying to conduct of the Biden classified documents scandal.
The letter starts off with Rubio and Warner highlighting the requests that they have made to the DOJ.
The first request was from Aug. 14, 2022, and the purpose of the request is to acquire the classified documents seized by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence and to obtain a risk assessment of these classified documents.
Just recently, on Jan. 11, 2023, the committee followed up with a similar request for President Joe Biden.
According to Warner and Rubio, however, neither Garland nor Haines has complied with their requests.
Warner and Rubio, thus, renew their requests, writing:
As we expressed previously, in light of the substantial public interest, the need for bipartisan and responsible oversight of these matters is at its highest. We urge yourimmediate compliance with our previous requests . . . These matters are the highest priority of the Committee andour oversight and authorization efforts will align accordingly.
According to Warner and Rubio, the Biden administration is refusing to comply with their committee because the DOJ believes that doing so could interfere with its investigation into these matters.
Warner and Rubio pushed back against this claim in their letter.
The senators write:
[O]ur letters explicitly recognized the need to protect the Department’s ongoing investigations. Mindful of the Department’s interests, the letters were narrowly tailored and only requested access to the relevant classified documents and an assessment of the risk to national security if the documents were to be exposed in public or to a foreign adversary. This information does not implicate any of the concerns cited . . .
It seems unlikely that, as a result of this letter, the DOJ is going to suddenly comply with the request.
If the DOJ doesn't, the possibility has been raised that the committee may hold up congressional funding for the U.S. intelligence community.