Updated Jan 10, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Sen. Mark Warner asks for Congress to be briefed on Biden documents

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) talks to reporters as he heads for the Senate Chamber for a procedural vote on the bipartisan federal omnibus spending legislation at the U.S. Capitol on December 20, 2022

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) talks to reporters at the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 20, 2022. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Intelligence Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked Tuesday that Congress be briefed on the classified documents that were found from President Biden's time as vice president.

Why it matters: Warner's pressure comes after the Democratic senator has pressed for more information on classified documents seized last year at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Driving the news: "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," Warner said in a statement, per NBC News.

  • "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 sought by the government."
  • "But again, that's why we need to be briefed," he added.

The big picture: GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), are calling for an "immediate review and damage assessment" following the discovery of potentially classified documents.

  • The potential discovery of classified information "would put President Biden in potential violation of laws protecting national security," Turner, who is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
  • Lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee sent a similar request to Haines after the FBI's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

What he's saying: On Tuesday, Biden told reporters he was "surprised to learn" there were classified documents in his University of Pennslyvania office.

  • "They found some documents in a box in a locked cabinet, or at least a closet, and as soon as they did they realized there were several classified documents in that box. And they did what they should have done, they immediately called the Archives," he said.
  • "I don’t know what’s in the documents," Biden continued.

Go deeper... Presidential Records Act and Trump search explained

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comments from Joe Biden.

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