Intelligence Director To Review Mar-A-Lago Documents For Risk Assessment

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Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told top congressional leaders in a letter dated Friday that intelligence officials are working to assess the potential national security damage that former President Donald Trump might have caused by keeping top-secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.

A clearer picture of the situation came into focus after a federal judge unsealed a partially redacted version of the FBI’s affidavit used to obtain a warrant to search the South Florida property earlier this month. The affidavit was made public Friday.

But many questions remain, such as the nature of the materials Trump was improperly storing, what impact they could have if leaked, and whether Trump will be personally charged with any crime. The court records made public so far suggest that human intelligence sources could be at risk.

Politico was the first to report on Haines’ letter. It came in response to an Aug. 13 request by House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), asking for “an immediate review and damage assessment.”

Haines’ office will lead an “intelligence community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents,” her letter read.

Her team is is “closely coordinat[ing]” with the Department of Justice (DOJ), she wrote, to ensure the analysis is “conducted in a manner that does not unduly interfere with DOJ’s ongoing criminal investigation.”

The director of national intelligence is a cabinet-level position serving under President Joe Biden, whose administration has largely declined to speak on the subject of the FBI search on Mar-a-Lago. The federal search has sparked controversy on the right, where Trump supporters have been making threats to FBI agents.

The FBI affidavit confirmed that the National Archives alerted the Justice Department of potential misconduct in February. That’s after the agency spent months trying ― and failing ― to obtain all the missing presidential records from Trump, the affidavit said.

Under a federal law enacted after the Watergate scandal, presidential documents are the legal property of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which preserves them for the historical record.

Trump had been keeping boxes of presidential documents in a storage room at Mar-a-Lago that was secured by a mere padlock.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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