The FBI was not forthcoming with the Trump, Biden and Pence classified documents during a House Intelligence Committee briefing last week, and lawmakers still don’t know exactly what the documents contained, the committee’s leaders, Reps. Mike Turner and Jim Himes, said Sunday.
Turner, R-Ohio, and Himes, D-Conn., appeared together on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where they said there were still unanswered questions regarding the classified documents discovered at the residences of President Biden, former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.
“The FBI is not being forthcoming,” committee Chairman Turner said. “They are not giving us the information. They’re claiming it’s going to affect the outcome of their investigation, which, of course, it can’t because the people who are the targets of their investigation know what are in those documents.”
The lawmakers said the committee still does not know the classification level of each document or who had access to them. Despite these lingering questions, Turner said the committee is starting to “build an understanding.”
“The thing that we know is that it’s unbelievable that administration after administration is apparently sloppy and messy in their use of classified documents,” the congressman said. “And that’s one thing on a bipartisan basis we have to address.”
Himes, the committee’s ranking member, agreed that both lawmakers were left dissatisfied with the amount of information provided to the committee during the FBI briefing.
“Let’s just say that neither one of us are satisfied that we got enough information to execute our primary responsibility of making sure that sources and methods have been protected,” Himes said.
While the lawmakers said they still couldn’t discuss details of the briefing, Himes said they were beginning to get “a flavor” of what the documents contained and that it “is a very serious issue.”
“This wasn’t stuff that we can say clearly does not matter,” he said.
When asked if the intelligence community no longer trusts Congress, Turner said it’s “more of a tension between the FBI and Congress,” not the broader intelligence community.
“I think that’s going to come to a head over the next couple of years,” he said, adding that the FBI is “not special.”
“They don’t have greater privileges than the president does,” Turner continued. “And [the FBI is] continuing to act as if they have some privilege to operate without congressional oversight.”