The U.S. intelligence community will evaluate the potential national security risks stemming from former President Donald Trump’s possession of top-secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told top lawmakers.
In a letter obtained by POLITICO and dated Friday, Haines told House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) that her office will lead an “assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents.”
“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, adding that the review will be conducted in a way that “does not unduly interfere with DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation.”
The correspondence represents the Biden administration’s first known engagement with Congress on the issue of the ongoing investigation ensnaring the former president. Court documents unsealed in recent days have revealed that the Justice Department is investigating potential violations of the Presidential Records Act, the Espionage Act, and obstruction of justice.
It’s 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 clamoring for details about the substance of the documents since the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, but so far neither the intelligence committees nor congressional leaders part of the so-called Gang of Eight have been briefed. [Continue reading…]