National Security

House Intel Chair Calls For Biden To Declassify Info On ‘Serious National Security Threat’ All Congress Is Aware Of

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The chairman of the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence published a statement on Wednesday requesting President Joe Biden declassify information about an unspecified “security threat.”

The committee oversees 19 federal agencies comprising the U.S. intelligence community and is frequently briefed on highly classified matters regarding national security. Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio, the committee’s chairman, issued a press release indicating that information about the threat had been “made available” to all members of Congress, though did not specify any details about it. (RELATED: Special Counsel John Durham Briefs Intelligence Committee Behind Closed Doors)

“I am requesting that President Biden declassify all information relating to this threat so that Congress, the Administration and our allies can openly discuss the actions necessary to respond to this threat,” wrote Turner in his statement, which was posted on Twitter, now known as X.

Statement from Chairman

— House Intelligence Committee (@HouseIntel) February 14, 2024

No details about the nature of the threat were forthcoming from the committee.

During a press conference at the White House on Wednesday, national security advisor Jake Sullivan indicated that he had scheduled a classified meeting with House leaders on Thursday to brief them on the matter, and had not expected Turner to issue a public statement. “I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today…that’s his choice to do that, what I can tell you is that I’m focused on going to see him,” Sullivan said, adding that “I’m not in a position to say anything further from this podium at this time.”


WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 14: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) arrives for a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on February 14, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

US Representative Mike Turner (R), Republican of Ohio, questions witnessed during the House Intelligence Committee hearing, into President Donald Trump’s alleged efforts to tie US aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019.  (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

When asked by journalists about whether Americans should be worried about the threat, Sullivan responded: “That question is impossible to answer with a straight yes.”

“Last month, I sent a letter to the White House requesting a meeting with the President to discuss a serious national security issue that is classified. In response to that letter, a meeting is now scheduled tomorrow on this matter here at the Capitol with the Gang of Four,” House Speaker Mike Johnson told the Daily Caller News Foundation at a press scrum at the U.S. Capitol. “I want to assure the American people there is no need for public alarm. We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified and, beyond that, I’m not at liberty to disclose classified information and really can’t say much more.”

Some members, however, speculated that the matter concerned the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a bill that is pending before Congress and has faced bipartisan opposition due to concerns about warrantless surveillance.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this had something to do with the fact that FISA is up for review…Anytime you start talking about FISA reform, you know, the intel community has this way of bringing out the boogey man,” said Republican Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona to the DCNF.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee has the intelligence in question, and has been rigorously tracking this issue from the start. We continue to take this matter seriously and are discussing an appropriate response with the administration,” wrote Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner and Vice Chairman Marco Rubio in a joint statement emailed to the DCNF. “In the meantime, we must be cautious about potentially disclosing sources and methods that may be key to preserving a range of options for U.S. action.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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