October 1, 2022

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT: Trump classified docs scandal has top Dems calling for national security probe

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT: Trump classified docs scandal has top Dems calling for national security probe

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The Democratic chairs of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, are urgently requesting that Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines conduct an “immediate review & damage assessment” after the discovery of classified national security documents at the Mar-a-Lago residence of former president Donald Trump.

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Citing a “potential violation of the Presidential Records Act and law protecting national security, including the Espionage act,” Maloney and Schiff express their deep concern about the “grave risk” engendered by Trump’s possession of “the most sensitive and highly protected information in the U.S. Government.”

In a three-page official letter written to Haines, the two top congressional Democrats outline the details of the FBI’s search and the results of what their hunt discovered, most notably “highly classified documents ‘relating to nuclear weapons,’  which are among our nation’s most closely guarded secrets.”

Indeed, the documents are so sensitive that reports are emerging that the FBI is desperate to discover who may have actually even touched them.

Representatives Maloney and Schiff go on in their letter to note that Trump is suspected of having “repeatedly attempted to destroy presidential records,” and remind DNI Haines that “under Intelligence Community (IC) directives issued by your office, damage assessments are used “to evaluate actual or potential damage to national security resulting from the unauthorized disclosure or compromise of classified national intelligence.”

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With that in mind, the two Democratic committee chairs urged Haines to begin the damage assessment immediately to ascertain how badly the American intelligence apparatus has been harmed by Trump’s treachery and deceit.

“The facts that are now public make clear that a damage assessment is appropriate. If you have not already done so, we request that you instruct the National Counterintelligence Executive, in consultation with the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and other Inspectors General as appropriate, to conduct a damage assessment. In addition, we ask that you
commit to providing an appropriate classified briefing on the conduct of the damage assessment as soon as possible. Even as the Justice Department’s investigation proceeds, ensuring that we take all necessary steps to protect classified information and mitigate the damage to national security done by its compromise is critically important,” the lawmakers’ letter concludes.

You can read the entire letter from Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Adam Schiff in the tweet from CNN‘s Zachary Cohen below.

Original reporting by Zachary Cohen at CNN.

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Vinnie Longobardo

is the Managing Editor of Washington Press and a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile, & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.

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