STATE DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON — In a letter to congressional lawmakers on Friday, which was obtained by NBC News on Saturday, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said the agency would conduct a damage assessment of the documents removed from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
DNI, which oversees the CIA, NSA, and 16 other agencies, will “lead an Intelligence Community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents,” as stated in a letter from director Avril Haines.
When it comes to the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by DOJ, the DNI and DOJ are “working together to facilitate a classification review of relevant materials, including those recovered during the search,” Haines said.
Politico was the first to report on the letter, which was written to House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in response to their request for a security damage assessment following the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida club on August 8. The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested a damage assessment and more information about the contents of the documents but has not yet received either.
According to NBC News, a former senior intelligence official speculated earlier this month that the Biden administration is taking “extra careful” measures to avoid appearing to be involved beyond the independent FBI and Justice Department.
FBI agents “identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the FIFTEEN BOXES” when they conducted a preliminary review of the materials contained in the 15 boxes Trump returned to the National Archives from his Florida property in January, according to a heavily redacted copy of the affidavit used to justify the search that was unsealed on Friday.
According to the affidavit, agents discovered 184 separate documents with classification markings; 25 were labeled “TOP SECRET,” 67 were labeled “confidential,” and 92 were labeled “secret.”
According to the property receipt of recovered items, agents removed 11 more sets of classified documents, some of which were labeled secret and top secret. SCI documents, which stand for “sensitive compartmented information,” were also included.
After reviewing the affidavit, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart issued the warrant that allowed federal agents to search Trump’s Florida property. On Thursday, he issued his order unsealing the document with the proposed redactions made by the Department of Justice.
Together, Maloney and Schiff released a statement on Saturday saying, “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.”
President Trump has consistently denied any wrongdoing.
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