(Jan. 29) Members of the Biden Administration should face serious consequences if they continue defying bipartisan congressional demands for intelligence information.

Repeat: Bipartisan — as was made clear again on the Sunday news shows. It is of course rare these days when key members of both parties in both chambers of Congress sing from the same sheet music. When they do, an administration of any party should take notice.

At issue is information about the nature of the classified material improperly kept by President Biden, former President Donald Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence. Congress created the nation’s intelligence system. Congress funds it. Congress has oversight authority related to it. The top leaders of Congress and of its intelligence committees have full security clearances, and by law they have a definite, independent right to know the nature of classified information of national importance.

Nonetheless, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and (apparently) Attorney General Merrick Garland are teaming up to tell Congress to stuff it.  In bipartisan fashion, the intelligence committees had asked what topics were involved, and the level of seriousness of the classification thereof, in the improperly retained documents. Haines refused, saying that somehow the sharing of information with a tiny subset of security-cleared congressional leaders would impede the special counsel investigations into Biden’s and Trump’s handling thereof.

Classified stamp clipart illustration psd. Free public domain CC0 image.

This is so specious as to be insulting, and it is constitutionally dangerous. At National Review Online, famed former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy explains this at much greater length than space here permits, but suffice it to say two things. First, there is almost no conceivable way that the sharing of such information in a secure room to a select group of congressional leaders could possibly interfere with those investigations. Second, Congress’ need for and right to the information absolutely supersedes the Justice Department’s investigative interests. Congress, the elected delegates of the public, has both a right and a duty to know and be able to react to the nature of the classified information that was put at risk…. [The full column is here.]



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