WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of senior lawmakers received their first briefing Tuesday from administration officials about the various classified documents found on the properties of President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.
Members of the so-called Gang of Eight have been requesting such a briefing since the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Florida property in August and recovered a large quantity of government documents including more than 100 with classified brands.
Those calls were amplified in January after it was revealed that a lawyer for Biden had reported finding classified Obama-era documents in November in a Washington office Biden used after finishing his term as vice president. Other documents were later found at Biden’s home in Delaware.
The Gang of Eight consists of the leaders of the House and Senate: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky; House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California; House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y. — and the top Republicans and Democrats on each house’s intelligence committees: Reps. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, and Jim Himes, D-Conn., and Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R -fla.
Rubio previously said the initial briefing by administration officials was unlikely to include details about the contents of the classified documents, and would instead outline the process by which the Justice Department can share information.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed separate special counsel to investigate the handling of the Trump and Biden documents. He did not appoint a special attorney for the Pence documents. Meanwhile, the intelligence community is doing a threat assessment on how the Trump and Biden documents were handled.
Warner and Rubio have repeatedly stressed their desire for an assessment of the impact classified documents could have on national security.
“Maybe they’ll bring some sneak peeks, maybe they’ll bring the appetizer, but I mean, I’m just telling you that my understanding of the briefing that we’re doing is one that will outline a process by which they’re willing to share information with us as a parallel to the investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice,” Rubio told reporters earlier this month.
“I’m okay with that as long as the process is right,” he said, before adding that “we should have full access to the documents they found.”