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Video: Sen. Mark Warner Says There’s “a swath of the Republican Party who seems to be on almost a jihad against our justice system and against the FBI”

Sen. Warner: "even long-term Trump allies like his former Attorney General Bill Barr said he thought that the indictment raised very serious issues."

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See below for video of today’s press availability with Sen. Mark Warner, during which he had a lot of interesting things to say, including:

  • Obviously the news that has dominated virtually all the airwaves over the last couple of days was the indictment of former President Trump…A couple comments: one, in America no one including former presidents should be above the law; but at the same time, in America, we start with a presumption of innocence. And so I think this case has to play out and I trust the Justice Department to make their case, and Mr. Trump will have his ability to put up his defense, and I think a jury clearly of his peers being based in Florida will reach a verdict.”
  • “I would also comment that I’m chairman of the intelligence committee, and there is a reason why we classify documents. I am not going to comment about the documents that were taken. We have, from an intelligence committee standpoint, has nothing to do with the indictment…we have tried to make sure that the intelligence community would mitigate any harm if those documents were to fall into inappropriate hands. But it does raise a bigger issue. And yesterday, my intelligence committee marked up our intelligence authorization bill, this is our oversight bill that we do each year. I’m proud to say it was 17 to nothing. I am proud it’s the last fully functioning bipartisan committee. But part of that part of that legislation we marked up is a major revision of security clearance processes. We overclassify way too many documents. This would put a a better system in place to more appropriately classify. It would continue some of the progress we make on on bringing up to date security clearance reforms so that we still can get people into the intelligence and defense community with appropriate security clearances and it doesn’t take two years to get a clearance. And then we did something that should have been a no-brainer, which was to say any president or vice president before they leave office and throw all these documents in a box, the archivists ought to be able to go through and clear what documents are taken and which remain the property of the United States. If something like that had been  in place, all three of these cases – the Pence, Biden and Trump examples – potentially could have been prevented.”
  • “I am going to point out that even long-term Trump allies like his former Attorney General Bill Barr said he thought that the indictment raised very serious issues. And I think you have heard as well a number of particularly Republican Senators who have kind of said the same thing that I’ve said that everybody gets their day in court, we’ve got a presumption of innocence, but this is a serious indictment and serious issues raised and let’s let the justice system play out.”
  • “I do find it, I’ve heard some other folks in the House talk about shutting off the FBI or breaking it up or not allowing a new headquarters to be built. I mean it’s a little wacky. They are obviously people who have not been to the FBI headquarters, where that building is literally falling in on itself. It shows enormous disrespect to the literally thousands of FBI employees, the vast vast majority of which are completely non-political, many of whom put their lives on the line trying to protect our country from both crime inside and working with our intelligence community in terms of foreign threats. So it’s a strange time when you’ve got a swath of the Republican Party who seems to be on almost a jihad against our justice system and against the FBI.”
  • “I can simply say there are extraordinarily serious reasons why documents are classified – people’s lives can be put at risk if those documents were to fall into the
    wrong hands; there are people who help our country who are located in our adversaries’ nations, their lives could be snuffed out if that document fell into the wrong hands; we have penetrations from what’s called signals intelligence…we spent billions and years putting in place. If those assets were revealed, it’s all about these
    so-called sources and methods. I have not heard a serious national security expert on the Republican side who hasn’t said, you know, there’s a reason you have highly classified documents and that the protection of those documents is critical to our national security.”
  • On possible legislation regarding TikTok: “We were gaining huge support – 13 Democrats, 13 Republicans, the White House signed on, legal experts across the continuum were supportive – and then candidly there’s a lot of money here. TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance – they started to spend about 100 million dollars on lobbying efforts. There’s not a single publication that people in Washington read each each morning – the Axioses and the Politicos and the Playbooks and what have you – that wasn’t sponsored by TikTok for  some period of time. There were a series of arguments made against the bill that just quite honestly are not true.”

 

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