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Officials:Briefing on Trump, Biden Docs02/06 06:17

   U.S. officials have offered to brief congressional leaders on their 
investigation into the classified documents found at former President Donald 
Trump's Florida residence as well as President Joe Biden's Delaware home and 
former private office, people familiar with the matter said Sunday.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. officials have offered to brief congressional 
leaders on their investigation into the classified documents found at former 
President Donald Trump's Florida residence as well as President Joe Biden's 
Delaware home and former private office, people familiar with the matter said 
Sunday.

   A briefing could come as soon as this week. But it may not meet demands from 
lawmakers who want to review the documents taken not just from Mar-a-Lago but 
also from the locations belonging to Biden and the Indiana home of former Vice 
President Mike Pence.

   Six months after federal agents first conducted an unprecedented search of a 
former president's home for classified documents, the White House faces 
bipartisan pressure to share what it found with lawmakers who say they are 
concerned about the potential damage to national security and intelligence 
sources. Separate special counsels are investigating the documents found in the 
possession of Trump and Biden.

   Officials have declined to answer most questions in public or private about 
what they found, citing the ongoing criminal investigations and a separate 
"risk assessment" of the possible damage to intelligence sources.

   Rep. Mike Turner, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, told NBC's 
"Meet the Press" on Sunday that the administration notified him it would brief 
on the documents this week.

   "This administration needs to understand we do have national security urgent 
matters," said Turner, R-Ohio. He also called on the White House to brief him 
on the Chinese balloon shot down Saturday.

   "What's interesting is that the moment this balloon became public, I got a 
notice not from the administration that I'm going to get a briefing on this 
balloon, but they have to rush to Congress now to talk to us about Donald 
Trump's documents," he said, adding that a discussion of Biden and Pence's 
records was expected to be included.

   Three people familiar with the matter confirmed a congressional briefing was 
offered to the "Gang of Eight" -- the Republican and Democratic leaders of the 
House and Senate and of both intelligence committees. The people spoke on 
condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

   Any briefing is not expected to include direct access to the documents that 
were seized, the people said.

   Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the chairman and vice 
chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked for that access in a 
letter last week to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National 
Intelligence Avril Haines.

   The director of national intelligence's office and Department of Justice 
both declined to comment Sunday.

   The Justice Department says roughly 300 documents with classified markings, 
including at the top-secret level, have been recovered from Mar-a-Lago after 
being taken there after Trump left the White House. Last August, FBI agents 
executed a search warrant at the property after developing evidence that led 
them to believe that Trump and his representatives had not returned all the 
classified files.

   The material taken at that time included roughly 13,000 government 
documents, including about 100 bearing classification markings. Some of the 
material was so sensitive that Justice Department prosecutors and FBI 
counterintelligence investigators required additional security clearances to 
review them.

   A special counsel, Jack Smith, is investigating whether to bring charges 
against Trump or anyone else related to the documents. Prosecutors have 
revealed that they are investigating possible violations of multiple criminal 
statutes, including willful retention of national defense information and 
obstruction. A grand jury in Washington has been hearing evidence and federal 
prosecutors have interviewed multiple Trump associates. It is not clear how 
much longer that investigation will last.

   Trump has claimed that the materials were declassified and that he had the 
power to do so just by thinking about it, though his lawyers have not repeated 
that claim. They tried to have an independent arbiter conduct an outside review 
of the documents, though a federal appeals court late last year ended that work 
and said Trump's team was not entitled to that assessment.

   Biden's lawyers say they contacted authorities after first discovering "a 
small number of documents with classified markings" on Nov. 2, 2022, in a 
locked closet at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. The 
documents were found as Biden's attorneys were clearing out the offices.

   A second batch of documents -- again described by Biden's lawyers as a 
"small number" -- were found in a storage space in Biden's garage near 
Wilmington, Delaware, along with six pages located in Biden's personal library 
in his home.

   FBI agents on Jan. 20 located six additional items that contained documents 
with classified markings and also took possession of some of Biden's 
handwritten notes, according to Biden lawyer Bob Bauer. The FBI subsequently 
searched Biden's vacation home in Delaware but found no classified documents, 
Bauer said afterward.

 
 
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