WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials will conduct a review to assess potential national security risks from former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after the FBI recovered boxes containing sensitive material from Mar-a-Lago, according to a letter to lawmakers.
In the letter, Avril D. Haines, the director of the National Intelligence Service, informed top lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees that her office would lead an intelligence community assessment of the “potential national security risk that would arise from the apocalypse”. of documents Trump took with him to his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
In the letter, obtained by The New York Times, Haines said her office will work with the Justice Department to ensure the review does not interfere with the department’s criminal investigation into the documents. The review will determine which information sources or systems could be identified by the documents and compromised if they fall into the wrong hands.
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Haynes’ letter, dated Friday, was previously reported by Politico. It came after leaders of the Intelligence and Oversight Committees asked her on Aug. 13 to conduct an “immediate review and damage assessment” in the wake of the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago investigation, in which federal agents discovered 11 sets of classified documents.
The Senate Intelligence Committee also requested a damage assessment, according to committee chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who said the request was bipartisan.
On Friday, the Justice Department released a redacted version of the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago. That document included the revelation that Trump had kept highly classified material after leaving office, including documents related to the use of “undercover human sources” in intelligence gathering.
Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Carolyn B. Maloney, DN.Y., the chairman of the Oversight Committee, issued a statement of approval in response to Haines’ letter.
“The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, confirms our serious concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could compromise human sources,” the lawmakers said in their statement.
Using shorthand for the intelligence community, they added: “It is critical that the IC move quickly to assess and, if necessary, mitigate the damage caused — a process that should proceed in parallel with the DOJ’s criminal investigation.” .
Before the FBI’s Aug. 8 Mar-a-Lago search, the National Archives and Justice Department made extensive efforts to recover sensitive documents Trump had kept after he left the White House.
In January, the archives collected 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago. The FBI later reviewed their contents and found a total of 184 redacted documents, including 25 marked “top secret,” according to the affidavit released Friday.
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