The Hill: Spanberger: Clearly problems with chain of custody of classified documents found at officials’ homes

THE HILL, JULIA MANCHESTER AND RAFAEL BERNAL

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) lamented the handling of classified information by sitting and former elected officials in an interview Thursday, as lawmakers and the Justice Department grapple with how to handle such documents like the ones found at the homes of President Biden, former President Trump, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

“As a former CIA officer, as somebody who handled classified information every single day and wrote material that went and became classified because of the means by which we maintained it and the sensitivity of the assets providing that information to us, there are clearly problems with the chain of custody of these documents, Spanberger said in an interview with HillTV’s “What America’s Thinking” on Thursday.

“I think there needs to be a full understanding of how it is that any former elected official or currently serving elected official would be able to box up documents either intentionally or unintentionally and move those out of a secured space,” she continued.

The Virginia lawmaker and former intelligence officer’s comments come after she was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.

The discovery of classified documents at the homes has sparked concern on Capitol Hill. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Spanberger’s fellow Virginia lawmaker Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), have expressed frustration over the Justice Department’s unwillingness to share the details of the documents.

The Justice Department has told Warner and the committee’s ranking member Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that they are in the process of relaying the documents’ information. However, Warner told Punchbowl News this week that he was not satisfied.

“I appreciate the communication. But the subject of the communication doesn’t give me clarity on how and when we’re going to be able to fulfill our obligation,” Warner said.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the FBI is planning on conducting an additional search of Pence’s Indiana home for additional classified documents. On Wednesday, the FBI completed a search of Biden’s property at Rehobeth Beach, Del. and found no additional documents.

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