The fallout from ex-President Donald Trump’s handling of top secret government documents just got deeper. The Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are scrambling to assess the possible damage to national security with the Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines sending a letter to two congressional oversight committee members.
According to POLITICO, in a letter addressed to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the House Oversight Committee and House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Haines wrote:
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) are working together to facilitate a classification review of relevant materials, including those recovered during the search.”
Haines added that her office is conducting an “assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents.”
News of the FBI executing a search warrant at the Palm Beach home of former President Trump sent shockwaves throughout the intelligence community – raising more questions than answers provided.
15 boxes of documents were returned to the National Archives, but it would take a search warrant to retrieve the rest. 11 additional boxes were recovered during the August 8th search at Mar-a-Lago, with varying degrees of classification – including the highest level.
In a joint statement, Representatives Schiff and Maloney responded to the director:
“We are pleased that in response to our inquiry, Director Haines has confirmed that the Intelligence Community and Department of Justice are assessing the damage caused by the improper storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms my grave concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could endanger human sources. It is critical that the IC move swiftly to assess and, if necessary, to mitigate the damage done — a process that should proceed in parallel with DOJ’s criminal investigation.”
Concerns about the threat to national security stretch across the aisle with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) – vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee – signing onto a request by the committee’s chair, Mark Warner (D-VA) to do their own damage assessment.
On the heels of the warrant being unsealed, a redacted version of the Justice Department’s affidavit shed light on the agency’s reason for obtaining a warrant to search Trump’s home. Federal investigator’s belief that the former President was in possession of top secret classified materials was substantiated by the removal of 11 additional boxes not previously disclosed.
Original reporting by Andrew Desiderio, Nicholas Wu, and Kyle Cheney at Politico.
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