President Biden may have jeopardized national security by storing classified documents from his time as vice president at his home and at the office of his think tank, a top Democratic critic of President Trump’s handling of classified documents said Sunday.
“I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts,” U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl when asked if Biden may have “jeopardized” national security by taking the documents.
“We have asked for an assessment in the intelligence community of the Mar-a-Lago documents,” Schiff said. “I think we ought to get that same assessment of the documents found in the think tank, as well as the home of President Biden.”
Schiff said he would “reserve judgment” on whether Biden should have been more forthright about the discovery of the documents on the eve of the midterm elections in November. The White House did not disclose the discovery until reports of a Justice Department probe emerged last week.
“I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the [intelligence community’s] assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done,” Schiff said.
Biden’s personal lawyers discovered the documents while going through an old storage unit, the White House revealed Monday. Meanwhile, the records at Biden’s Delaware home were kept in the garage next to his prized classic Corvette.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed former Maryland US Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to lead the investigation.
Speaking on ABC, Schiff defended Biden’s response to the document discovery in contrast to Trump’s alleged mishandling of documents found at Mar-A-Lago.
“It looks, as far as we can tell, that it was inadvertent that these documents were in these locations. When they were discovered, they were immediately provided to the Archives or the Justice Department. There was no effort to hold onto them, no effort to conceal them, no effort to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation,” he said.
“This is a very different matter, but nonetheless I think it’s appropriate for a special counsel to look into both situations.”