Congressional leaders known as the Gang of Eight began receiving access to classified documents in the possession of former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence after they left office, a source familiar with the case said. affair.

Law enforcement officials found documents with classified markings in the private homes or offices of the three men, and the handling of the documents is under federal investigation. House and Senate intelligence committees had been seeking access to the material.

The Justice Department had previously rejected the committees’ requests to turn over the documents, saying they were part of an active investigation. But lawmakers expressed frustration at what they described as the Justice Department’s few briefings on the matter. In a statement issued after a February briefing, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., and Vice President Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said it «leaves a lot to be desired.»

Warner and Rubio are members of the Gang of Eight, which includes the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee and top Democratic and Republican leaders from each house. Congressional leaders did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Lawmakers had been pushing for a briefing since the FBI initially executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in August on suspicion that the former president had failed to turn over all classified documents he had. in his power. FBI officials recovered more than 100 documents with classified marks in the search. Lawmakers renewed their calls for a briefing in January, when a lawyer for Biden revealed that classified Obama-era documents had been found in an office Biden used after his term as vice president ended. Additional documents were later recovered from Biden’s home in Delaware.

In February, Pence reported finding classified documents at his home; the FBI later recovered an additional document in Pence’s possession.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Jack Smith as special counsel investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents. Garland appointed Robert Hur to lead the investigation of the Biden documents.

punch news he was the first to report that the Gang of Eight gained access to the classified documents.