Trump's team objected to the disclosure of the contents of the boxes to the FBI, according to Wall.
The transfer of 15 boxes of records from the former President's office to the NARA was due to ongoing communication between the former President's representatives and the NARA. In its initial review of materials within those boxes, NARA identified items marked as classified national security information, up to the level of Top Secret.
The aides for the NARA did not respond to the request for comment on the letter.
An assessment of threats to national security posed by Trump's possession of the documents was already underway before members of Congress were told.
The intelligence community has been asked to provide an assessment by the Senate Intelligence Chair and the broader entity on Capitol Hill has asked to view the documents themselves.
The officials in the national security community were shocked by the way the former president treated classified material. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.
The person said it was an "affront" to those people who have spent their lives protecting and enforcing a rules-based order only to have someone come along and use his special access to illegally collect and retain highly classified documents.
One former defense official who still holds a security clearance said the fact that Trump took hundreds of pages of classified material is one of the worst things he has ever heard.
There are no gray areas here. The person was appalled.
The correspondence shows that the FBI and Justice Department didn't see the contents of the 15 boxes until May after lengthy negotiations with Trump's representatives. The DOJ asked President Joe Biden to authorize the release of the records to investigators despite an effort by Trump to claim executive privilege over the records. According to Wall, the significance of the documents to national security made her reject Trump's claim.
According to Wall, the Department of Justice asked the President to request that the FBI have access to the boxes in question so that they could look at them.
According to Wall, Biden delegated the privilege decision to her.
An exception is carved out for incumbent administrations when it comes to presidential records. There are important national security interests in the FBI and others in the intelligence community getting access to these materials.
According to the DOJ letter, access to the materials is not only necessary for our ongoing criminal investigation, but the Executive Branch must also conduct an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent way in which these materials were stored and transported. We need immediate access to these materials so that we can conduct the necessary assessments in the Executive Branch.
According to Wall, the Archives delayed sending the documents to Trump because of the FBI's "urgency" to review them.
Four weeks have passed since we first told you of our intent to give the FBI access to the boxes so that it and others in the intelligence community can conduct their reviews. Your April 29 letter asked for additional time for you to review the materials in the boxes in order to ascertain whether any specific document is subject to privilege.
Wall consulted with the assistant attorney general and decided not to honor the request.
She wrote that the question was not close.
The National Security Division explained that the Executive Branch wants access to records in the Federal Government's custody in order to investigate whether those records were handled in an illegal manner.
According to Wall, some of the documents in Trump's possession related to nuclear weapons and "special access program" materials. Trump's GOP allies held their fire until they heard directly from NARA.
This particular scenario would be problematic according to a Republican lawmaker.
Do you know how sensitive those programs are? It is very sensitive. Chris Stewart is a member of the House Intelligence Committee