Rep. Schiff on Pence Case: 'There Appears to Be a Systemic Problem Here'

Susan Jones | January 25, 2023 | 6:57am EST
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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

( - Revelations that another vice president -- Mike Pence -- had classified documents at his home in Indiana is taking some of the media heat off former Vice President and now President Joe Biden -- just as the discovery of classified documents in Biden's possession took some of heat off former President Donald Trump.

"So now this appears systemic," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), now a former member of the House intelligence committee, told MSNBC on Tuesday as the news about Pence broke while he was being interviewed.

"It certainly appears now that there's a systemic problem with former occupants of the presidency and vice presidency having classified information at their homes, when it shouldn't be there; or at their libraries or their university repositories," Schiff told host Andrea Mitchell.

"So this now appears systemic. And as the chair and new nominated ranking member of the Intel Committee once again, we're going to have to now ask for another assessment by the intelligence community of any risk posed by the presence of these documents somewhere they shouldn't be.

"But I think there also needs to be a review of what happens when people leave that office, the presidency and vice presidency.

"Again, there look to be very important differences here -- Trump resisting returning the documents, fighting it, his lawyers misrepresenting that they had. Here, it appears that the former Vice President Pence and President Biden have been fully cooperative and turning the documents over when they're discovered, so important differences.

"But, nonetheless, there appears to be a systemic problem here."

Mitchell asked Schiff, "Did you take documents home?"

"No," he said:

"And this is what's so astounding, I think, for all of us on the intelligence committee. I never take classified documents to my house. I don't know any reason why people would.

"I am so paranoid when I go into the SCIF and out of the SCIF to make sure that I have got no electronics on the way in, that I have got nothing with me on the way out.

"I am very, very careful about it. And I would assume that everyone else is. But, clearly, there's a problem here."

White House menu is classified

"Do you have classified documents anywhere in your old Kentucky home?" Fox News's Jesse Waters asked Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday night:

"No," the senator replied:

"In fact, I've never had a classified document even in my office because people don't realize this, but the normal part of classified documents is, I go to a secure reading room. They show me the documents, I check them out and check them back in as if I'm in the library. If I take notes about them. I leave the notes in a secure reading room. I don't take any paper when I leave.

"That being said, it's a little bit different being president or vice president or State Department head, secretary of state, because you have more documents. And there really is a problem of over-classifying everything.

"The menu at the White House is classified. So there are -- I'm not kidding. There are problems with this."

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