Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, Warner Write Letter to ODNI Director Coats on National Security Risk of Widely Releasing Classified Documents to House and Senate Intelligence Committee Members


Washington, D.C. — Late yesterday, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats expressing deep concern that classified and highly sensitive documents have been made broadly accessible to all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, rather than a select group of designated Members.  As the Democratic Leaders write, Director Coats’s decision to widely release these classified documents could put sources and methods at risk.

In the letter, the Members write: “While we understand the need for congressional oversight, this action – which we understand was taken at your direction – contravenes your representation to us and our colleagues that this information would not be shared outside that group. … All of the meeting’s attendees agreed that the information discussed was among the most sensitive type of information and should be protected accordingly.  We believe your decision could put sources and methods at risk.”

 

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The full letter is below:

 

July 12, 2018

 

Honorable Daniel Coats

Director

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Washington, DC 20511

Dear Director Coats:

In recent days, we learned that certain classified documents that were originally made available to a small group of designated members have been made more broadly available to all members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  While we understand the need for congressional oversight, this action – which we understand was taken at your direction – contravenes your representation to us and our colleagues that this information would not be shared outside that group.

As you know, during our meetings on this sensitive matter we discussed at great length the importance of protecting sources and methods and ongoing investigations.  All of the meeting’s attendees agreed that the information discussed was among the most sensitive type of information and should be protected accordingly.  We believe your decision could put sources and methods at risk.

Further, we are concerned that your action was in direct contravention of our verbal and written requests (letters on June 5, 2018 and June 27, 2018) to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Wray.

This is a matter of serious importance and we believe a follow-on meeting of the Gang of Eight is needed as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

NANCY PELOSI

House Democratic Leader

CHUCK SCHUMER

Senate Democratic Leader

ADAM SCHIFF

Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee

MARK WARNER

Vice Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee

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