Two bills were introduced by US Senators on May 10, proposing significant federal changes to the classification system. These reforms aim to address the management of classified documents when US presidents finish their terms. The legislation also focuses on addressing the issue of leaked highly confidential information from the Pentagon, allegedly involving Massachusetts Air Guardsman Jack Teixeira.
In a press conference, Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, informed local journalists that the proposed legislation aims to strengthen insider threat programs. These programs would assist in identifying individuals who may leak classified information and establish protocols for assessing sensitive records prior to the departure of government officials.
The legislation was introduced soon after the committee received documents from the residences and offices of both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, which were provided by the Justice Department.
Warner emphasized the lack of oversight regarding the belongings of individuals when they left their positions and emphasized the need for a security review. He specifically mentioned the instance when President Biden left his role as vice president during the Barack Obama administration.
Referring to Teixeira’s leak of highly confidential information, the Senate Intelligence Chair highlighted the sensitive nature of the case, which had repercussions for the Biden administration and US partners globally. It was revealed in multiple reports that Teixeira had shared classified Pentagon documents on a private group within the social media platform Discord. Subsequently, these documents were disseminated on other prominent platforms and eventually reached certain media outlets.
Warner informed reporters that the committee intends to establish minimum standards for insider threat programs, highlighting the failure exposed by the Teixeira incident. He expressed the importance of strengthening and implementing these programs, as they would enable the efficient detection of individuals who may be taking top-secret information with them as they depart from their positions. Warner emphasized the need to address this issue effectively to prevent unauthorized leaks.