Two top House lawmakers Saturday asked the nation’s intelligence chief to review potential damage to national security stemming from former President Donald Trump's storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“Former President Trump’s conduct has potentially put our national security at grave risk. This issue demands a full review, in addition to the ongoing law enforcement inquiry,” wrote House Intelligence committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Oversight committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in a three-page letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines. They asked for a classified briefing on the review “as soon as possible.”
The two lawmakers, whose panels have jurisdiction over national security and other oversight matters, specifically asked for the DNI’s office to initiate a damage assessment, which would evaluate any harm to national security related to Trump’s handling of the documents. It comes just a day after an unsealed search warrant revealed the FBI was investigating former President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice and potential violation of the Espionage Act.
A receipt accompanying the search warrant showed Trump had documents at Mar-a-Lago marked “TS/SCI,” which indicates one of the highest levels of government classification.
The outreach from the two lawmakers marks the first major oversight step by House committees in the wake of the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago.
A spokesperson for the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maloney’s panel had stepped up a probe into Trump’s handling of documents earlier this year, though the Department of Justice ended up taking the lead on the investigation. It's not immediately clear if the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DoJ, will take any steps toward oversight. House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) told POLITICO Friday he didn't think they needed any briefing from the DoJ on the search of Mar-a-Lago because “there's nothing to be briefed. It was a normal execution of a normal search warrant.”
Some of the most highly sensitive concerns related to Trump’s handling of the documents might be briefed to the so-called “gang of eight,” or the top party leaders in both chambers and the heads of the intelligence committees, but as of Friday morning Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she did not know “any more than is in the public domain.”