Prepared Senate Floor Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
More Unclassified Documents Hidden from Public Scrutiny
September 22, 2016

Last week, I spoke about the danger of allowing agencies to improperly use the Office of Senate Security to keep information secret even when it is unclassified.

I said that if we let the FBI get away with hiding the Clinton investigation documents from the public, then other agencies would abuse the system to undermine transparency and oversight.

That is exactly what is happening.

The State, Treasury, and Justice Departments are trying the same trick to hide documents about the Obama Administration’s transfer of billions of dollars to Iran for hostages. These unclassified documents requested by the Judiciary Committee are being locked away in the basement of the Capitol. 

They are being treated as if they are classified, but they are not.

The Committee was not consulted and did not agree to these burdensome and unnecessary document controls.

With the Clinton investigation documents, the FBI improperly mixed classified and unclassified documents together in order to keep the unclassified documents secret. 

But, this time every paragraph and every page of the Iran hostage payment documents is 100% unclassified.

So why send it to Senate Security?  

Why keep it locked away from the public and congressional oversight? 

Why would the Senate participate in this scheme to undermine transparency?

If the Senate, as an institution, wants to take its oversight responsibility seriously, we should not be helping the executive branch hide embarrassing information from the American people.

I yield the floor.