Officials offer to update congressional leaders on recovered classified files

Officials are offering to provide a closed-door briefing to congressional leaders about their review of the trove of classified files at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, as well as the documents found in the possession of President Joe Biden and former vice president Mike Pence, NBC News reports.

The documents briefing would be for Congress’ “Gang of Eight,” the top leaders of the House and the Senate and of the congressional intelligence committees.

The closed-door session could provide insight into the sensitivity of the classified files Trump retained and the possibility of indictments.

Officials from the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director for National Intelligence are offering a briefing of about 300 classified-marked documents found in Trump’s Florida estate last year. 

The nature of the documents is one of the central issues in the criminal investigation into Trump overseen by the special counsel Jack Smith, who is examining whether the former president willfully retained national security information and obstructed justice.

The officials had not yet scheduled a briefing, but it could be as soon as this week. 

The justice department is separately investigating the discovery of classified-marked documents at Biden’s Delaware home and a former office in Washington D.C., as well as at the Indiana home of Trump’s vice-president Pence. 

In stark contrast to Trump’s resistance to returning papers, Biden and Pence have cooperated with officials.

Some congressional leaders, including Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have been dissatisfied with the Justice Department’s inability so far to give them more information about what the Trump documents cover.

Republicans in Congress have been clamoring for a briefing about the documents seized at Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8 as part of the FBI’s criminal probe of apparently mishandled classified material, some marked “top secret.”

Agents said they seized roughly 11,000 records, about 100 of them marked classified. 

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