Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines ducked a question about the alleged retention of classified documents by former president Donald Trump and the Aug. 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago during an interview that aired Monday on MSNBC.
“I know you can’t talk about the investigation into Mar-a-Lago, but if something in the intelligence community took home documents, classified documents, then resisted turning them back, what would be the impact?” host Andrea Mitchell asked Haines.
“Please don’t do that,” Haines responded, after appearing to laugh at the question.
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Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith, a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague who reportedly was involved in the alleged IRS targeting of the Tea Party, to serve as special counsel after Trump announced his bid for the Republican nomination for President in the 2024 election.
“Two former directors of the CIA had to pay a price for that,” Mitchell said. “For something similar, for the way they handled intelligence.”
Retired Army general and former CIA director David Petraeus was sentenced to probation and a $100,000 fine after he plead guilty to mishandling classified information. John Deutsch also allegedly mishandled classified information while serving as CIA director during the Clinton administration, according to a report by the CIA Inspector General.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also faced allegations of mishandling classified information after a private server came to light during the 2016 presidential campaign.