Intelligence community assessing potential national security risks of Mar-a-Lago documents: report

Intelligence community assessing potential national security risks of Mar-a-Lago documents: report
Image via Gage Skidmore.

The United State Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines notified Congress on Friday that the American intelligence apparatus is conducting a review of the hundreds of classified documents that were found by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during its Monday, August 8th execution of a search warrant at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

“'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 wrote in a letter to House leadership that was obtained by Politico on Saturday.

Haines noted that the review is an "assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents" and that it will be administered so that it "does not unduly interfere with DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation."

READ MORE: Donald Trump throws a Truth Social tantrum over Hillary Clinton's emails

According to Politico's reporting, Haines also informed Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-Virginia) along with Vice Chair Marco Rubio (R-Florida) of the action which was revealed shortly after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of the Southen District of Florida ordered the unsealing of the redacted affidavit that the Justice Department used to obtain the FBI's warrant to scour Mar-a-Lago. The Committee heads in both chambers had previously requested that the DNI initiate an inquiry.

House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-California) explained in a joint statement to Politico that “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 our 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.”

Politico further pointed out that Haines's memo to lawmakers is "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."

Additionally, Politico's reporting indicated that "the intelligence community’s review is likely to encompass whether any unauthorized individuals had access to the highly sensitive documents" because "the Justice Department previously raised alarms about the lax security of the records within Trump’s estate."

READ MORE: The politics of prosecuting a former president

Politico's full report can be viewed here.

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