Watergate prosecutor: DOJ will be closely watching national security damage assessment of Mar-a-Lago documents
(The Hill) – Former assistant special Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman said late Saturday that he thinks the Department of Justice (DOJ) will be closely watching the national security damage assessment reportedly underway regarding documents the FBI obtained from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
“That’s a big issue here. In fact, I think the prosecutors will be investigating some of the same things. I mean, for example, they’re looking at the videos that were on the storage area,” Ackerman told anchor Jim Acosta on “CNN Newsroom.”
“They’re going to want to see who moved things in and out, when they did it in relation to requests that they made,” he added. “I’m sure they’re going to be fingerprinting every one of those documents to try and determine whether anybody else had access to them and who had access to them.”
Ackerman’s remarks come after the redacted FBI affidavit used to convince a judge to approve this month’s search of Trump’s Florida residence was unsealed to the public on Friday.
The 28-page affidavit indicated that authorities found up to 184 classified documents they obtained from the Mar-a-Lago residence, with 25 of those documents containing top secret information.
Ackerman also told Acosta that “the obstruction piece of this” stands out to him from the affidavit.
“The concealment that’s listed in that affidavit, I mean, that is what really triggered this search warrant in the first place because they had evidence that they were being lied to, that they were being played, and that Donald Trump and some others were basically concealing these documents, which leads to the big question why would they even want these documents in the first place, which of course, brings up this issue of what happened to these documents, who had access to them, and were any of our real major secrets blown because of the way this material was handled,” Ackerman said.
“I think from a prosecutor’s standpoint, it’s that obstruction piece that really is important here,” he added.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines reportedly sent a letter to two Democratic representatives on Friday noting that officials would assess the risk resulting from potential disclosure of the classified information in the documents.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing regarding the documents.
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