Congress offered briefing on Trump, Biden documents
Announcement might fall short of lawmakers’ wishes to inspect classified papers
— U.S. officials have offered Washington to brief congressional leaders on their investigation into the classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence as well as President Joe Biden’s Delaware home and former private office, people familiar with the matter said Sunday.
A briefing could come as soon as this week. But it may not meet demands from lawmakers who want to review the documents taken not just from Mara-Lago but also from the locations belonging to Biden and the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
Six months after federal agents first conducted an unprecedented search of a former president’s home for classified documents, the White House faces bipartisan pressure to share what it found with lawmakers who say they are concerned about the potential damage to national security and intelligence sources.
Officials have declined to answer most questions about what they found.
Rep. Mike Turner, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the administration notified him it would brief on the documents this week.
Three people familiar with the matter confirmed a congressional briefing was offered to the “Gang of Eight” — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and of both intelligence committees. The people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
Any briefing is not expected to include direct access to the documents that were seized, the people said.
Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked for that access in a letter last week to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
The director of national intelligence’s office and Department of Justice both declined to comment.
The Justice Department says about 300 documents with classified markings, including at the topsecret level, have been recovered from Mar-a-Lago after being taken there after Trump left the White House. Last August, FBI agents executed a search warrant at the property after developing evidence that led them to believe that Trump and his representatives had not returned all the classified files.
The material taken at that time included roughly 13,000 government documents, including about 100 bearing classification markings. Some of the material was so sensitive that Justice Department prosecutors and FBI counterintelligence investigators required additional security clearances to review them.
A special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating whether to bring charges against Trump or anyone else related to the documents.
Biden’s lawyers say they contacted authorities after first discovering “a small number of documents with classified markings” on Nov. 2, 2022, in a locked closet at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
A second batch of documents — again described by Biden’s lawyers as a “small number” — were found in Biden’s garage near Wilmington, Del., along with six pages located in Biden’s personal library in his home.