Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he and other Republicans would hold off on President Biden’s nominees until the administration shares seized classified documents with Congress. at Biden’s home in Delaware and at the office of Washington and former president. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Cotton vowed “there will be pain” until the Biden administration shows lawmakers what classified documents the president and former president were holding outside of proper security protocols and warned Republicans could also retain federal funding as leverage.
“The administration is obstructing Congress over classified documents present at President Trump’s residence and President Biden’s residence and office, which is completely unacceptable,” Cotton told reporters on Wednesday.
“Members of the Intelligence Committee – for that matter, members of Congress have an absolute right to this information so that we can make an informed judgment on what risk, if any, these documents have posed to our national security by being mishandled,” he said.
Cotton dismissed administration claims that sensitive information cannot be shared with Congress while special advocates Jack Smith and Richard Hur investigate Trump and Biden’s handling of the documents, calling it a “farce.”
“Until the administration stops blocking Congress, there will be pain for them,” he said.
“Whether it’s blocking candidates or withholding budget funds, Congress will inflict pain on the administration until it provides these documents,” he said.
Cotton argued that Congress had access to “many sensitive documents” during former special adviser Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations that Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign advisers in the election. 2016.
“There’s no reason this standard shouldn’t now apply to documents at President Trump’s residence and President Biden’s residence and office,” he said.
“I am prepared to withhold consent to expedite the application process from any candidate from any department or agency and to take all possible steps in every committee I sit on to impose consequences on the administration until provide these documents,” he added.
Cotton said he also wanted to review classified documents found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Indiana.
The Arkansas senator withheld a group of US attorney and US marshal nominations last year to seek information from the Justice Department about why it hasn’t done more to defend the US marshals who were being sued for their role in defending a federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.
He lifted his grip in April after feeling confident that Congress would get the answers he wanted.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Cotton’s latest threat to withhold Biden’s nominees is a replay of the same old “movie.”
“I’ve seen this movie before,” he said. “(He) held up American lawyers who were enforcing the law across America for weeks and months.”
“I contacted Senator Warner this morning, I will speak to him to see if there is a way to satisfy Senator Cotton’s concerns, which are shared by some people,” he added, referring to the Committee. Senate Intelligence. President Mark Warner (D-Va.).
–Updated at 1:43 p.m.