Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke with Newsmax on Wednesday about the document fiasco plaguing former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.
In speaking with “The Record” hosted by Greta Van Susteren, Warner said that the government faces a massive problem of “overclassifying” documents that are otherwise already public knowledge.
However, regarding “information,” Warner explained that “came because we have someone who’s putting their life at risk in a Russia, a China, Iran, or one of the other adversarial nations, to try to get that information out, and that information is in that document, don’t you think we owe some obligation to make sure that individual’s life is protected?”
Warner added that with regard to such information being “arbitrarily distributed — maliciously or not — is something I think we have to guard against.”
Earlier in the interview, Warner indicated that presidents don’t have the authority to declassify certain documents if they are “intelligence products.”
In speaking about potential legislation, Warner said, “Let’s just go ahead and put a little simple step in there that says … anything that you want to take with you, the archivists ought to check first. Because they honestly are not documents that you own.
“You may have executive privilege on some of them,” he continued. “But if they’re intelligence products — and we can go back to the earlier point about maybe we overclassify — but if they’re classified at this point, they don’t own those documents. The U.S. government does.”
In his bill entitled the “Classification Reform Act of 2023,” Warner designates that “the Director of National Intelligence shall serve as the Executive Agent for Classification and Declassification.”
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