Washington — The Biden administration has begun to give top leaders in Congress access to documents marked classified that were found at the homes of former President Donald Trump, President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence, according to three sources familiar with the matter.
The move means the so-called “Gang of Eight” — which includes the chair and ranking member of the House and Senate intelligence committees and the four leaders of the House and Senate — will be able to access the documents. Punchbowl News first reported that congressional leaders are being given access to the documents.
The disclosures are the culmination of talks between the heads of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Justice Department, and come more than two months after senators demanded “immediate” access to the records. Justice Department officials said earlier this year they were working to provide information that would satisfy the request “without harming the ongoing Special Counsel investigations.” The Justice Department declined to comment Tuesday.
Special counsel Jack Smith is probing Trump’s handling of documents marked classified that were found at his home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida during an FBI search last year. Agents took 33 items containing roughly 11,000 documents, approximately 100 of which were marked classified, according to a detailed inventory made public by the Justice Department.
Last November, Mr. Biden’s lawyers discovered roughly 10 documents marked classified dating back to his time as vice president at an office at a Washington think tank that Mr. Biden used. More documents were subsequently discovered during an FBI search of his home in Delaware. Special counsel Robert Hur is investigating Mr. Biden’s handling of records.
A lawyer for Pence found a “small number” of classified documents at the former vice president’s home in Indiana in January, and the records were handed over to the FBI. Agents then found more relevant documents during a search of Pence’s home.
The National Archives and Records Administration is supposed to be given all presidential records by the time a president leaves office.
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