Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the chair of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, demanded a briefing from President Joe Biden’s Justice Department on Tuesday about the stash of classified documents at UPenn reportedly related to Ukraine and Iran and dated between 2013 and 2016.
Warner stated he wanted a briefing on Biden’s mishandling of classified documents related to congressional oversight powers. The requested briefing flies in the face of the media’s decision to downplay the national security breach.
“Our system of classification exists in order to protect our most important national security secrets and we expect to be briefed on what happened both at Mar-a-Lago and at the Biden office as part of our constitutional oversight obligations,” he said in a statement to reporters.
“From what we know so far, the latter is about finding documents with markings, and turning them over, which is certainly different from a months-long effort to retain material actively being sought by the government,” he said. “But again, that’s why we need to be briefed.
On Tuesday, CNN reported Biden’s mishandled classified documents at the University of Pennsylvania’s “think tank” included intelligence materials related to Iran, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The trove related to Ukraine specifically raises national security concerns. The Biden family has had many business dealings in Ukraine.
In 2017, Hunter Biden was paid $83,000 per month to be on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company. That same year, Hunter’s salary was cut in half when Joe Biden left the White House as vice president, having visited Ukraine six times in seven years.
Concerns about the Biden family business are not the only fears critics have about the stashed documents. About $54 million worth of anonymous Chinese donations have reportedly been given to a University of Pennsylvania “think tank.” Critics fear the Chinese Communist Party could have donated money to gain access to Biden’s classified trove.
The establishment media has defended Biden’s stash as different from former President Donald Trump’s incident of allegedly keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago — taking pains to call Biden’s case “smaller scale.”
While Trump’s incident culminated in the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Largo and a special counsel investigation, no similar measures have been taken by Biden’s Justice Department in the case of Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.
Republicans have pointed out that — unlike Trump — then-Vice President Biden had no authority to declassify classified documents before leaving office.
“This is a very serious situation. Vice presidents cannot declassify documents. And the fact that Joe Biden is in possession of classified documents when he was vice president, signals we need to have a serious investigation into this,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told C-Span.
“There is a true two tier justice system stemming from m g department of justice in the way President Trump has been treated — who is allowed to classify and declassify documents. Presidents can do that,” she said.