Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) on Friday said the redacted FBI affidavit used to justify a search warrant on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence suggests that some of the country’s “most sensitive intelligence” was mishandled.
The heavily redacted affidavit — which was made public on Friday after a judge ordered it to be unsealed the day before — revealed that 184 classified documents were found at Trump’s Florida residence in the first review of boxes recovered by the National Archives.
“It appears, based on the affidavit unsealed this morning, that among the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago were some of our most sensitive intelligence – which is one reason the Senate Intelligence Committee has requested, on a bipartisan basis, a damage assessment of any national security threat posed by the mishandling of this information,” Warner wrote in a statement on Friday, shortly after the affidavit was unsealed.
“The Department of Justice investigation must be allowed to proceed without interference,” he added.
Of the 184 documents recovered by the National Archives in January, 92 were marked as “SECRET” and 25 were marked “TOP SECRET.” Some of the top secret documents included information from “clandestine human sources,” which is information that cannot be shared with foreign governments, and from monitoring “foreign communications signals.”
The National Archives recovered a total of 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago in January. The affidavit said authorities believed “evidence, contraband, fruits of crime or other items illegally possessed” still remained at Mar-a-Lago after the first tranche of documents were recovered in January.
The FBI ultimately executed a search warrant on the Florida residence earlier this month. An inventory list released after the search revealed that 11 sets of classified documents were recovered by the FBI, as well as information about “the president of France” and a pardon received by Trump ally Roger Stone.
Warner and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, penned a letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this month asking for details about the classified documents that were recovered in the search, in addition to an assessment of national security risks that were potentially triggered by the mishandling of documents, a Senate aide confirmed to The Hill on Friday.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee is charged with overseeing counterintelligence matters, including the handling and mishandling of classified information, which appears to be at the core of the search of Mar a Lago,” the aide said in a statement.
The letter was first reported by Axios.