Senator Tom Cotton (R -Ark.), who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is demanding to see the classified documents found at the home and office of President Biden, the home of former President Trump, and the home of former Vice President Mike Pence. According to The Hill, Cotton declared that he and other Republicans will “hold up” President Biden’s nominees and federal funding, until the administration shares the classified documents with Congress.
Cotton told reporters on Wednesday that “the administration is stonewalling Congress on the classified documents present at President Trump’s residence and President Biden’s residence and office, which is totally unacceptable,” adding that “the members of the Intelligence Committee — for that matter, the members of Congress have an absolute right to this information so we can make an informed judgment about the risk, if any, these documents have posed to our national security by being improperly handled.”
The Biden administration is claiming that they cannot provide the documents to Congress while Biden’s and Trump’s handling of the classified documents is being investigated by special counsels Jack Smith and Richard Hur. Cotton is rejecting this excuse, arguing that Congress was given access to sensitive documents while special counsels Robert Mueller was investigating the allegations that Russia colluded with advisers to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
“I’m prepared to refuse consent to fast-track any nominee from any department or agency and to take every step that I can on every committee on which I serve to impose consequences on the administration until they provide these documents,” said Cotton.
This is not the first time Cotton has held up nominations to demand information. He used the same tactic last year to demand information from the Justice Department on their handling of the defense of U.S. marshals who were being sued for defending a federal courthouse during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) shared that he has reached out to see if there is a way to “satisfy Sen. Cotton’s concerns,” which he added, “are shared by some people.”