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Director of national intelligence to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago

Intel officials to review Mar-a-Lago items
Intel officials to review items recovered from Mar-a-Lago 02:08

The director of national intelligence is preparing to review the items recovered during the FBI search of at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month, CBS News has learned. 

In a letter sent to congressional leaders Friday, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said her office would conduct a "classification review of relevant materials." 

"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. "ONDI will also lead an Intelligence Community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents." 

The letter was addressed to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

"ODNI will closely coordinate with DOJ to ensure this IC assessment is conducted in a manner that does not unduly interfere with DOJ's ongoing criminal investigation," Haines wrote. 

This comes after a federal court in Florida on Friday released the redacted affidavit that was submitted by the FBI in order to obtain its search warrant. 

The affidavit disclosed that 15 boxes of records recovered from Mar-a-Lago in January by the National Archives and Records Administration included 184 documents with classification markings, including 67 marked "confidential," 92 marked "secret," and 25 marked "top secret." Fourteen of the 15 boxes contained classified documents. The FBI said private areas of Mar-a-Lago were not authorized to hold such records. 

In a post to his Truth Social platform Friday, Trump heavily criticized the redactions. 

"Nothing mentioned on 'Nuclear,' a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover - WE GAVE THEM MUCH," Trump wrote.

In their Aug. 8 search at Mar-a-Lago, approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI agents seized 11 sets of classified documents, according to the unsealed search warrant. The agents collected boxes marked "top secret," "secret," "confidential" and "top secret/sensitive compartmented information."

In a written statement Saturday, Maloney and Schiff said there was concern that "human sources" were endangered because the documents were kept at Mar-a-Lago. 

"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," the two representatives said. "The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms our grave concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could endanger human sources. It is critical that the IC move swiftly to assess and, if necessary, to mitigate the damage done—a process that should proceed in parallel with DOJ's criminal investigation."

Larry Cosme, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents federal agents, told CBS News the association supports keeping agents' identities private.

"They obviously don't want to be identified because of the level of threats," Cosme said. "They're worried about their welfare, and justifiably so."

Earlier this week, attorneys for Trump filed a motion requesting that a "special master" be named to review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon in Florida said Saturday that a hearing on the motion has been set for Sept. 1.

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