Intel officials to assess national security fallout from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents

The correspondence represents the Biden administration’s first known engagement with Congress on the issue of the ongoing investigation into the former president’s entrapment. Court documents unsealed in recent days revealed that the Justice Department was investigating potential violations of the Presidential Records Act, Espionage Act and Obstruction of Justice.

It is also the first known acknowledgment by the intelligence community of the potential harm caused by the missing documents, which prosecutors said Friday included human source intelligence and information gathered from foreign intercepts. Top lawmakers have been demanding details about the substance of the documents since the Aug. 8 raid at Mar-a-Lago, but so far neither intelligence committees nor congressional leaders part of the so-called Gang of Eight have were informed.

Haines’ response came the same day a federal judge unsealed a redacted version of the affidavit that outlined the Justice Department’s rationale for obtaining a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago. The affidavit revealed that prosecutors believed Trump had a series of top-secret documents in his private residence, including some of the former president’s handwritten notes.

“We are pleased that in response to our investigation, Director Haines has confirmed that the Intelligence Community and the Department of Justice are assessing the damage caused by the improper storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago,” Schiff said. and Maloney in a joint statement. statement to POLITICO. “The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms our grave concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could endanger human sources. It is essential that the IC act quickly to assess and, if necessary, mitigate the damage caused – a process that should occur alongside the DOJ’s criminal investigation.

The intelligence community’s scrutiny will likely focus on whether unauthorized individuals gained access to the highly sensitive documents. The Justice Department previously sounded the alarm over lax security of records at Trump’s estate. This question could also pertain to the criminal investigation, as Justice Department counterintelligence investigators determine whether highly classified records have been compromised in any way.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also asked the intelligence community to conduct a damage assessment of Trump’s handling of the documents, but the investigation was bipartisan. Panel chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and vice chairman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) both signed the request.

The duo also asked the Justice Department to give the committee access to specific documents seized at Mar-a-Lago. A larger group of congressional leaders asked to see the documents, too.

In a statement earlier Saturday, Rubio noted that the Justice Department has yet to respond to the committee’s letter, but made no reference to Haines.

“The Senate Intelligence Committee is still awaiting information from the Justice Department about the specific intelligence documents seized at Mar-a-Lago and what prompted an unprecedented search warrant against President Trump’s residence,” said Rubio.

Kyle Cheney contributed to this report.

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