Aug 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

White House: Intelligence officials' review of Trump documents is "appropriate"

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby speaking to reporters in the White House on Aug. 4.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby speaking to reporters in the White House on Aug. 4. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House said Monday it's not involved in the U.S. intelligence community's assessment of potential risks stemming from the classified and top secret documents removed from former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month, but called the review "appropriate."

Why it matters: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told lawmakers in a letter sent last week that intelligence officials plan to investigate "the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of the relevant documents."

What they're saying: "The White House is not involved in the damage assessment that the DNI is going to be conducting on these documents," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Monday.

  • "It is an appropriate action for the director and the intelligence community to undertake," he added.
  • President Biden has previously said that he had "zero" advanced notice of the Mar-a-Lago search.

The big picture: Haines, in her letter to lawmakers, said the review was unrelated to the Department of Justice's criminal investigation into the handling of the documents.

  • The Justice Department last week released a redacted version of the affidavit that led to the Mar-a-Lago search. It indicated that Trump returned 184 documents with classification markings to the National Archives and Record Administration contained earlier this year.
  • The search warrant and inventory unsealed by a federal judge earlier this month revealed that FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified documents — including some marked top secret and only meant to be available in special government facilities — while executing the warrant.

Go deeper: Here's what we know and don't know about the Mar-a-Lago inquiry

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