The Democratic chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee has demanded that a federal judge authorize the committee to be briefed on the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago and the potential damage caused by Donald Trump’s hoarding of top secret documents in his private club.
Mark Warner, the US senator from Virginia, said there was confusion over whether the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the FBI were authorized to inform the Senate committee of their review of classified documents held at the resort club. and residence of the former president in Palm Beach, Florida.
The FBI searched the property on August 8, recovering over 100 classified documents.
Last week, a Trump-appointed judge, Aileen Cannon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, sided with Trump and ordered a “special master” to oversee the documents. The DoJ is appealing the decision, but its criminal investigation into Trump’s suppression of White House state secrets has been halted by court action.
Warner told CNN on the State of the Union on Sunday that clarification from the judge was urgently needed and that mishandling of state secrets could have dire consequences.
“Some of the documents involved human intelligence, and if that information leaked out, people would die. If there was penetration of our signals intelligence, literally years of work could be destroyed.
Warner added that if the information in the documents had been obtained from foreign intelligence services, then “our allies’ willingness to share intelligence could be undermined.”
Hillary Clinton, the former presidential candidate who lost to Trump in 2016, argued he should face criminal charges. She told CNN on Sunday: “No one is above the law, no one should escape responsibility…He is not the president and so I think, like any American, if there is any evidence that should be continued.”
The White House stayed away from DoJ actions.
US Vice President Kamala Harris declined to answer in an NBC interview whether Trump’s status as a potential 2024 presidential candidate should factor into the DoJ’s criminal investigation.
“I wouldn’t dare tell the Department of Justice what to do,” she said. “The president and our administration, unlike the previous administration, have been very, very careful to make sure there is no doubt of any interference.”
Pressed on whether it would be too divisive to prosecute a former president, Harris signaled that Trump should be held accountable, saying, “Our country has gone through different periods where the unthinkable happened and there was a call to justice. , and justice has been served… people will seek justice, and they rightly do so.