Special order casts doubt on congressional intelligence briefing

SState Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) has expressed doubts whether Congress will soon receive a briefing from the intelligence community about the damage resulting from classified documents found at the resort town. of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

The Virginia Democrat cited a judge’s approval of Trump’s motion for a special lead review of documents, which ordered investigators to stop using seized material for a criminal investigation, after which prosecutors said the intelligence community had been forced to suspend its national security risk assessment.

“I understand there is a question due to the special appointment of the judge in Florida, if they can inform at this point,” he said on CBS News on Sunday. Confront the Nation. “We need clarification on this from this judge as soon as possible, as it is essential that the leadership of the intelligence committee receive at least a briefing on the damage assessment.”

He added that while the specific details of the confiscated documents are still unknown, any mishandled intelligence could put the sources at risk.

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“The vice president and I have requested a briefing on the damage that could have resulted from mishandling this information, and I think it’s our duty in Congress to have that oversight,” Warner said. “Remember, what’s at stake here is the fact that if some of these documents involve human intelligence, and that information comes out, [people] will die. If there were signals intelligence penetration, literally years of work could be destroyed.”

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master despite opposition from the Justice Department, and both sides have since made proposals on how to move forward, including candidates, access and timeliness of third-party review. The Justice Department said it would appeal the order granting an independent review and asked the Florida judge to issue an emergency order to allow investigators to continue using classified documents due to security concerns. national security for the duration of the appeal.

Warner stressed that he was not interested in previewing an active investigation, but instead wanted to exercise Congress’ watchdog functions – in this case, to assess whether there was any damage done to the “intelligence gathering and secrets maintenance capability”.

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“It’s an assessment of damages that, frankly, even the Florida judge said, can go on,” he said. “I may not agree with the Florida judge’s decision, but I respect our Department of Justice. I respect the FBI. I think they are trying in extremely difficult circumstances to get it right, and we owe them the benefit of the doubt.”

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