The classification system comes from the Dark Ages: Senator says he's been trying to change it for years
Photo: Tracy Robillard with USDA

WASHINGTON — The discovery of classified information at the home of former Vice President Mike Pence has prompted a question about whether the classification system of secret documents needs to be changed to ensure documents don't end up being taken to the homes of major leaders after leaving office.

Georgetown Law professor Josh Chafetz said that he hopes the discoveries prompt a discussion into the problem of "massive overclassification."

It's an issue that American Conservative editor Micah Meadowcroft noted could be related to an attempt to prevent information from being accessed by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The far-right site The Federalist has been complaining about it as well.

Rolling Stone politics reporter Asawin Suebsaeng attacked the "overclassification problem."

IN OTHER NEWS: American exceptionalism in one heartbreaking, grotesque tweet

“Almost everyone who has examined the U.S. system of keeping secrets has concluded that it results in mass overclassification," Yale Law School professor of international law Oona Hathaway wrote for Foreign Affairs in a column.

Former Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) agreed that over-classification is a problem and said that all of the officials could fix the problem whenever they want.

"Congress and the administration can fix that anytime they want. They don’t want to. Don’t blame the permanent bureaucracy for that. Blame the politicians. It’s a choice they’ve made. They just want the laws to apply to others and not themselves," he tweeted Tuesday.

But there have been members working on exactly that.

READ MORE: Mike Lindell's 'frankly embarrassing' bid for RNC chair angers members

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told Raw Story Tuesday that there have been discussions with Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) about the over-classification of documents.

"But that is a future solution, as opposed to 'the rules are the rules' at this point," said Warner. "So, there's got to be a — this is a problem."

He also said that there should be a briefing on the Pence documents along with the Trump and Biden documents.

"And my concern is, that the default answer is, 'Once we've made a special counsel....' Well, I don't want to know the details of the case," Warner concluded, noting that he needs to know if anyone has been compromised by possessing these documents.

When Raw Story asked Wyden about Warner's comments, he explained, "Avril Haines, the head of Director of National Intelligence has been very instructive in working with us in a bipartisan way. And she has been the first director to recognize — and Sen. Moran and I have been interested in this for a long time."

He said that Haines "has been the first director to recognize that this mess of a classification system, which seems to come from the Dark Ages, harms national security. When we started bringing up everybody's like 'oh, here comes Ron. Everyone knows Ron is a privacy hawk and a liberties guy and the like. What's now become clear is Sen. Moran and I have finally cleared the bar that was central to our argument that the classification system is now such a mess it is harming national security."

He said that there is a fear that in the future they'll have a difficult time classifying things that should be classified.

"I'm on the committee and we have a very strict rule that I think should apply to everyone which is never take documents out of the room," Wyden said. "Now we need to sort through all the information we've got. One point I will make is that President Biden has cooperated voluntarily and that has not been the case with Trump."