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Intelligence Officials Will Assess Security Risks From Mar-a-Lago Documents


WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials will conduct a review to evaluate the possible risks to national security from former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of classified documents after the F.B.I. retrieved boxes containing sensitive material from Mar-a-Lago, based on a letter to lawmakers.

Within the letter, Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, informed the highest lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Oversight Committees that her office would lead an intelligence community assessment of the “potential risk to national security that might result from the disclosure” of documents Mr. Trump took with him to his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Fla.

Within the letter, which was obtained by The Recent York Times, Ms. Haines said her office would work with the Justice Department to make sure that the assessment didn’t interfere with the department’s criminal investigation in regards to the documents. The review will determine what intelligence sources or systems might be identified from the documents and be compromised in the event that they fell into the unsuitable hands.

Ms. Haines’s letter, dated Friday, was reported earlier by Politico. It got here after the leaders of the Intelligence and Oversight Committees asked her on Aug. 13 to conduct an “immediate review and damage assessment” within the wake of the F.B.I.’s search of Mar-a-Lago, during which federal agents recovered 11 sets of classified documents.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also asked for a damage assessment, based on the panel’s chairman, Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, who said the request had been bipartisan.

On Friday, the Justice Department released a redacted version of the affidavit used to acquire the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago. That document included the revelation that Mr. Trump had retained highly classified material after leaving office, including documents related to the usage of “clandestine human sources” in intelligence gathering.

Representatives Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of Recent York and the chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, issued an approving statement in response to Ms. Haines’s letter.

“The D.O.J. affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms our grave concern that among the many documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that would endanger human sources,” the lawmakers said of their statement.

Using the abbreviation for the intelligence community, they added, “It’s critical that the I.C. move swiftly to evaluate and, if vital, to mitigate the damage done — a process that ought to proceed in parallel with D.O.J.’s criminal investigation.”

Before the F.B.I.’s search of Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8, the National Archives and the Justice Department tried at length to retrieve sensitive documents that Mr. Trump had kept after leaving the White House.

In January, the archives collected 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago. The F.B.I. later reviewed their contents and located a complete of 184 documents with classification markings, including 25 labeled “top secret,” based on the affidavit released on Friday.

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

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