Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is dismissing as “silly” the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) response to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s request for information on classified documents found at President Biden’s and former President Trump’s residences.
“Their answer is that it would imperil the investigation,” Rubio, the top Republican member of the Intelligence panel, told Fox News’s Sean Hannity on Monday night. “It’s a silly letter. It’s a ridiculous letter. It doesn’t even answer the question we asked.”
Rubio and Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) have been pushing the DOJ in recent weeks to provide them with access to the classified documents found at the Biden and Trump properties.
The Justice Department responded to the senators’ requests in a letter on Saturday, saying it was “working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to support the provision of information that will satisfy the Committee’s responsibilities without harming the ongoing Special Counsel investigations.”
Rubio said on Monday that the DOJ’s response was “not acceptable,” adding that he expects the committee to take action on a “bipartisan basis.”
“This is very straightforward. We are the committee in charge with making sure that our intelligence agencies are doing a good job,” he told Hannity. “Part of their job is to protect classified information from espionage and from putting our country in danger.”
“How can we know if any damage has been done and whether the plan to mitigate that damage is sufficient if we don’t know what we’re talking about?” he continued. “Their refusal to tell us what was exposed is not sustainable.”
The committee is seeking information about the various classified documents found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and Biden’s former Washington, D.C., office and Wilmington, Del., home.
About 300 documents were recovered from Mar-a-Lago over the last year, some 100 of which were discovered after the FBI obtained a warrant to search the property in August after Trump’s team appeared to stonewall efforts from the federal government to retrieve them.
In November, several classified materials from Biden’s tenure as vice president were found at an office that he used from 2017 to 2019. Additional documents were found at Biden’s Wilmington home in subsequent searches by his personal attorneys and the FBI.
Classified documents have also since been found at the Indiana home of former Vice President Mike Pence.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed special counsels in both the Biden and Trump cases to investigate their handling of the classified materials.
“I’m not asking for details about their investigation,” Rubio added on Monday. “I simply want to know what the materials are. That’s all I want to know.”