The world is about to be privy to the contents of the search warrant affidavit that launched the seizure of materials from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. A federal judge ruled on Thursday that the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) must release a redacted version of the search warrant no later than noon Friday.
What Could be in the Affidavit
The affidavit explains why investigators think that there was probable cause of potential crimes. This particular warrant gave the FBI the authority to search the former president’s home and private club on August 8.Read More »
The DOJ has previously asserted that it does not want to release too much of the contents out of fear that the information would interfere with the ongoing criminal investigation. Particularly, the DOJ is concerned about guarding the confidentiality of the grand jury activity and protecting the witnesses that have already come forward with information as well as those future potential witnesses.
Details of Judge’s Ruling
In the official order to release the contents of the affidavit, Reinhart said that the DOJ convinced him to leave part of the document sealed. This decision was made in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and grand jury information. Most importantly, the judge said that some parts of the affidavit will remain sealed because full disclosure could reveal the identities of law enforcement agents and witnesses, putting their well-being at risk.
Media Requests Judge Unseal DOJ Brief
Shortly after the DOJ submitted its request to keep part of the filing sealed, a group of media organizations asked the judge to unseal the official DOJ brief that addressed the redactions. The media outlets believe that the brief should be available to the public without the necessary reductions to protect the organization and witnesses.
The official request by the media also asked the judge to require that the DOJ release any future filings, given that the appropriate redactions are in place. The news outlets are aiming to prevent future instances of secrecy unless the contents pose a threat to the legitimacy of the investigation or the safety of law enforcement officials or witnesses.
Federal Judge Gives Trump Friday Deadline to Detail Arguments for Special Master
In other related news on Thursday, a federal judge in South Florida gave Trump until Friday to further explain why he is requesting a special master to oversee the investigation into the evidence seized during the search at Mar-a-Lago. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon in the Southern District of Florida is ordering Trump’s legal team to explain in further detail why the former president is asking for the special master.
Critics of Trump say that the judge’s most recent order is another example of how his legal requests do not align with normally expected court submissions. The former president is asking for the third-party special master to oversee the investigation.
Did you find this content useful? Feel free to bookmark or to post to your timeline for reference later.
Explore Games and Apps