(DCWatchdog.com) – Republican US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is blistering mad with the US intelligence services after this week’s Gang of Eight briefing on the classified materials discovered in the properties of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.
Rubio is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The “Gang of Eight” includes the top four leaders in the US Congress and the heads and deputy heads of the Senate and House intelligence committees.
On Tuesday, the eight congressional leaders received the intelligence briefing on the issue of the seized classified documents after both Rubio and Democrat US Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had been demanding more information for months.
According to the GOP US senator from Florida, the briefing left him with questions on “almost everything” about the top secret government papers found in the homes of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
Rubio also complained that the lack of information hurt Congress’ power to oversee the US intelligence community, so the intelligence services should be pressured.
“Those agencies in the intelligence community have to come to Congress every year for their money and for the authorization to do things, and I think that’s going to get harder here in the short term for them until we find some resolution on this topic,” the Republican senator added.
“For them to be able to do their job, they’ve got to allow us to do ours. Right now, they’re not,” he told Newsmax.
“We have a fundamental challenge here, and that is the special counsel, and the Department of Justice are telling the intelligence community that they can’t share with Congress more information about what exactly they found, not just at Mar-a-Lago, but in Biden’s garage,” Rubio elaborated.
He insisted that the US lawmakers were entitled to learn whether the classified documents seized from Biden and Trump were a national security threat.
“If, for example, Joe Biden has highly classified material laying around his garage, what threat does that pose to the country and what are the agencies doing to protect our methods, to protect the people who gave it to us, and to protect partners that it may have come from?” the senator asked.
“How can we judge whether those agencies are doing a good job of protecting our intelligence or mitigating against the danger if we don’t know what intelligence they’re talking about? Our job is not to trust them. Our job is to work with them, to verify, and they’re not allowing us to do it,” the Florida Republican stated.
Rubio insisted that “rough days between Congress and the intelligence community” were coming as there was bipartisan outrage with the “unsustainable position” of the latter.
“We’re not able to determine whether any of the assessments they’ve made about that and any steps they’ve taken to mitigate against that are appropriate,” he added.
The senator noted that the Gang of Eight’s request for the US intelligence community was unrelated to the DOJ special counsel’s work.
“The special counsel’s job of doing an investigation would not be impeded by what we’re asking for, and the Justice Department does not get to veto the right of Congress to conduct oversight over the intelligence community,” Rubio said.