Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) told an audience at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday that he was not telling them it should be off limits to "publish stolen material."
Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said this was an argument that was made "unsuccessfully" with the media during the 2016 campaign.
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"One of the arguments we made unsuccessfully during the campaign in discussions I had with editorial boards, or editors, rather, is I'm not saying you should never publish stolen material," he said.
Schiff said that publishing stolen material is justified if the material has high public interest.
"There may be stolen material that is of such a high public value that it can't help but be published," he said.
Schiff stressed the importance of the context being presented alongside the stolen material.
"But, I do think the context always ought to be present," he said.