The Daily Beast reports a cache of 18 documents are sitting in Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facilities (SCIFs) in the U.S. Capitol complex. Seventeen of the documents, however, are unclassified — which raises the question of why they are being stored in containers normally reserved for classified information.
The administration gave the 18 documents to Congress on July 19, and the legislative body is now tasked with reviewing them before it either approves or denies the landmark deal. The 17 unclassified documents, however, do require a security clearance to view, reports The Daily Beast.
The arrangement of placing classified and unclassified documents together has confused lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill.
“The unclassified items … should be public. This is going to be the most important foreign policy decision that this Congress will make,” a Republican Senate aide told The Daily Beast. “This is the administration that once said it would be the most transparent administration in history. They’re not acting like it.”
Said another senior Republican congressional staffer, “Many in Congress view the administration’s tactic of co-mingling unclassified documents with classified documents and requiring congressional staffers to have secret clearances just to view certain unclassified documents as an attempt by the administration to limit open debate.”
Among the documents, according to the report, are correspondence between world leaders regarding the Iran deal and a draft agreement of the deal.
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