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DOJ working to share information on classified Biden, Trump documents: report

DOJ working to share information on classified Biden, Trump documents: report

TThe Justice Department is “actively working” to inform Congress of the potential national security risks posed by the discovery of classified documents at the private homes of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, according to a letter that the department sent to lawmakers over the weekend.

DOJ officials are working to provide a report to the Senate Intelligence Committee that will satisfy lawmakers’ requests without interfering with the department’s investigations, according to the letter sent Saturday to committee leaders. The Justice Department initially tried to brief lawmakers in September, but officials have since encountered “significant developments.”


“The Committee’s interest in overseeing the nation’s intelligence activities must be carefully balanced to protect the conduct and integrity of law enforcement investigations,” the deputy attorney general wrote Carlos Uriarte to Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). , according to a copy of the letter obtained by CBS News. “Releasing nonpublic information about ongoing investigations could violate legal requirements or court orders, reveal the roadmaps of our investigations, and interfere with the Department’s ability to gather facts, interview witnesses, and initiate criminal prosecutions when justify it”.

It has not been made public why the DOJ did not inform lawmakers of its initial findings in September. However, sources tell the Washington Examiner that scheduling conflicts contributed to the lack of a briefing.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced in November that he would appoint special counsel Jack Smith to oversee the investigation into classified materials found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August. Garland later appointed Robert Hur as special counsel to oversee Biden’s case on Jan. 12, two months after documents were discovered at his Delaware residence.

FBI agents recovered some 33 boxes of approximately 11,000 documents during their August raid at Mar-a-Lago. Approximately 100 of these documents contained classified marks, and some were considered at the top secret level. Before that, the National Archives recovered 15 boxes from Trump in January 2022 that contained “a lot” of classified material. In total, officials have obtained about 300 classified documents from the former president.

Biden’s lawyers initially found a batch of documents inside a locked cabinet at the Penn Biden Center on Nov. 2, prompting officials to release the materials to the National Archives and Records Administration. NARA then alerted the Department of Justice to the finding on November 4.

A month later, officials found additional classified materials at Biden’s personal residence in Wilmington, Delaware on December 20. Officials later found a handful more classified documents after two additional searches of Biden’s Delaware residence in January.

It was revealed that President Joe Biden was in possession of several classified documents from his time as Vice President of the Obama administration.

(Joana Suleiman/Washington Examiner)

Lawmakers from both parties have since called for investigations into the matter, pressing the DOJ for more information on whether the classified materials raised national security concerns.

The Senate Intelligence Committee met with Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines last week to discuss the findings, but Warner and Rubio regretted not being able to see what materials were found.


“Our job is not to find out if somebody tampered with them. Our job is to make sure there’s no intelligence compromise,” Warner told Face the Nation. “And while the director of national intelligence had been willing to brief us before, now that you have the special counsel, the idea that we’re going to be in limbo and we can’t do our jobs, that’s just not can do. standing.”

It’s unclear when the DOJ plans to share its findings with Congress, but the department has maintained that its practice of withholding information that is part of inquiries is part of the department’s “longstanding policy.”

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