- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 15, 2023

Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, expressed concern Sunday about potential ramifications to national security by President Biden’s apparent mishandling of classified documents found in his private possession.

The lawmaker wants an assessment from the intelligence community on the materials, as was requested for the classified documents seized from former President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago residence.

“I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts,” Mr. Schiff said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “I’d like to know what these documents were. I’d like to know what the [intelligence community’s] assessment is, whether there was any risk of exposure and what the harm would be and whether any mitigation needs to be done.”

Mr. Schiff said that Mr. Biden “will need to answer” why he only chose to disclose last week the discovery of classified materials in his possession, a discovery that happened before the November elections.

The California Democrat was the chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence in the last Congress and long has been his party’s senior panelist.

However, the new Republican majority has vowed to refuse him on the committee, citing his public spreading of falsehoods about such intelligence-related political matters as the extent of the purported collusion between Russia and the campaign of former President Trump.

SEE ALSO: Democratic senator says Biden classified docs ‘certainly embarrassing’

Mr. Schiff continued in partisan vein Sunday, using his appearance on ABC to argue that Republicans plan an unfair investigation.

Requests for information from such Republicans as House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer of Kentucky “are completely hypocritical when you consider what he said about the Mar-a-Lago situation,” he said.

“I’m going to reserve judgment until [the administration] does. But I think it’s important to point out that the Biden approach was very different in the sense that it looks, as far as we can tell, that it was inadvertent that these documents were in these locations,” Mr. Schiff said.

“When they were discovered, they were immediately provided to the Archives or to the Justice Department. There was no effort to hold on to them, no effort to conceal them, no effort to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation. All of that is a very sharp contrast to Donald Trump‘s handling of the situation,” he added.

Mr. Schiff went on to say he supports the Department of Justice’s appointment of a special counsel to probe the matter, as was done with Mr. Trump.

“This is a very different matter. But, nonetheless, I think it’s appropriate for special counsel to look into both situations,” he said. “I think Congress ought to handle both situations the same way … but Congress shouldn’t try to interfere with the investigations.”

• Ramsey Touchberry can be reached at rtouchberry@washingtontimes.com.

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