(CNSNews.com) – The Senate intelligence committee is still trying to get a look at the classified documents taken from the homes and/or offices of Donald Trump, Joe Biden and even Mike Pence, so far without success.
At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, two intelligence officials who do have access to those documents said they have reviewed some, but not all of them.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told the intelligence committee he wanted to talk about the documents themselves — “and what risk, if any, they pose to our national security.”
Cotton asked Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines if she has personally reviewed the documents since she last appeared before the committee:
“I’ve only reviewed documents that have already gone through an initial classification review process,” she said. “
“So now I have reviewed some of the documents, but not all of the documents — myself, that is. There are obviously others within our institutions that have reviewed them,” she added.
Cotton also asked FBI Director Christopher Wray if he has personally reviewed the documents in question:
“I have reviewed some of the documents personally, and my team, of course, has reviewed the documents,” Wray said.
Cotton asked Haines and Wray why they haven’t reviewed all of the allegedly mishandled documents: “It would seem this would be a matter of vital urgency, to put your eyes on these documents and make a determination if you think that there actually is a national security risk in the contents of those documents,” the senator said.
DNI Director Haines said she doesn’t generally review documents in cases like this “personally,” even when the compromised documents “have significant consequences.”
She said “subject matter experts” in the various intelligence agencies do that: “They provide their views and then they typically will summarize or otherwise indicate issues that have to be addressed as a consequence, if there are any.”
Wray said his answer was “similar” to that of Haines. “Except I would just add, we have teams of people who are experienced with these mishandling of classified documents cases, of which we have any number, and have had for years.
“And I would add, although I have not reviewed all of the documents myself, I have gone through a fairly meticulous listing of all of the documents that includes detailed information about the contents. So it’s not reading every page.”
Cotton noted that the head of any organization is responsible for everything that goes on within that organization:
“I just think, on something of such prominence, and perhaps of significance, that you both should review them.
“More importantly, this committee should review them. As you heard Sen. Warner say, we’re all very frustrated we haven’t even had these documents characterized to us.
“And we’ve patiently allowed Sen. Warner and Sen. Rubio to try to resolve this matter, but I would say, our patience is starting to run out. And at least some of us are prepared to start putting our foot down if we don’t get better answers and this stonewall doesn’t stop.”
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