Sen. Harris Gets Intel Briefings President-Elect Biden Cannot, Yet
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris can receive top secret intelligence briefings that President-elect Joe Biden cannot yet be privy to.
That’s because Donald Trump continues to bunker down, refuses to acknowledge the reality that he lost the election to Biden and General Services Administrator Emily Murphy still has not done her job and “ascertained” that Biden is the apparent winner of the election.
It’s actually a very, very weird situation. Because she’s a sitting U.S. senator, not only does Harris get the most up-to-date classified information about developments affecting national security, she also can request briefings on any matter she requests. She cannot, however, share any of that information with the President-elect.
This could lead – and already might have led – to situations where Harris may have to censor herself when discussing sensitive foreign policy and national security issues around Biden. Were she to reveal something classified, she technically would be liable for punishment under the Espionage Act.
One of the true oddities of the whole presidential election process is that Biden, as a candidate, was eligible for and did receive classified briefings. But once he became President-elect, even if Trump and his Republican minions can’t bring themselves to utter the phrase, Biden no longer can have access to that information. It doesn’t matter that he is a former vice president and former senator.
An official with the Biden transition team told Politico, “The 9/11 Commission Report found that the delayed 2000 transition significantly hampered the incoming administration’s ability to fill key appointments, including national security personnel, and left the country less prepared for a crisis. That’s why in the elections since, the transition process has begun almost immediately.”