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Sources familiar with the situation have reported that the Department of Justice has granted certain lawmakers access to classified documents seized from the residences of both President Biden and former President Trump. This action follows pressure from several senators who had threatened to withhold funding until access was granted.
According to The Hill, a set of documents recovered from the residence of former Vice President Mike Pence has been provided to the Gang of Eight. This group consists of the four highest-ranking leaders in Congress and the leading Republican and Democrat members of both the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
After facing months of complaints from lawmakers and repeated assurances from both the Department of Justice and the intelligence community, they have finally decided to provide the requested documents. One of the reasons for the delay was the appointment of two special counsels tasked with reviewing the sensitive information, which complicated the process of turning over the documents.
In recent weeks, Senators had been particularly vocal about their intention to withhold funding from President Biden’s Justice Department due to their perceived limitations on oversight. They believed that the department was not providing them with adequate access to the information they needed to carry out their duties effectively.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio stated, “They’re ruining their relationship with a committee that has always been very responsible and a very good working partner with them.”
Rubio added, “There’s no doubt that there’s going to be consequences for it. There has to be. We have to protect our role on oversight. And the way you do that, unfortunately, is to leverage [the power] that appropriations and authorizations give us. We would prefer not to, but if we have to, we will.”
According to Senator James Lankford, a member of the Intelligence Committee, the panel was exploring options to extend their oversight into the executive office of the Justice Department.
“We have the ability to be able to fence off certain amounts [so] that you don’t actually receive that until you’re actually operating in full faith,” Lankford explained.