Trump Mar A Lago Raid: Florida Judge Says Portion Of Affidavit Related To Raid Can Be Unsealed

Trump Mar A Lago Raid Florida Judge Says Portion Of Affidavit Related To Raid Can Be Unsealed: An FBI document outlining the Justice Department’s justification for requesting a search warrant against former President Donald Trump is likely to be unsealed, a Florida judge said on Thursday. The document, which is now under seal, was the subject of a highly publicized hearing in which Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart heard arguments from the DOJ and media outlets over whether it should be made public.

Reinhart stated during the hearing on Thursday, “I am not prepared to conclude that the affidavit should be sealed.” The judge directed the DOJ to submit its suggested redactions for the affidavit by next Thursday, after which Reinhart would make a final decision, noting that he has not yet made a decision. Last Monday, the FBI carried out its search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and retrieved 20 boxes of official government records as well as at least 11 sets of classified documents, some of which were marked top secret.

The Justice Department is reportedly looking into whether Trump violated three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, when he transported the data from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office, it was discovered after Reinhart allowed the release of the warrant. A DOJ counterintelligence official named Jay Bratt argued on Thursday that the document should remain secret because the investigation is still in its “early stages” and that its disclosure may jeopardize the probe.

The safety of witnesses involved in the probe is also a “serious issue,” according to Bratt, who also noted that the publication of the document could “chill other witnesses who may come forward and collaborate” with prosecutors. Following requests from numerous media outlets and transparency organizations for the public release of all documents and information relating to the Mar-a-Lago raid, Reinhart set the hearing for Thursday.

Trump Mar A Lago Raid Florida Judge Says Portion Of Affidavit Related To Raid Can Be Unsealed
Trump Mar A Lago Raid Florida Judge Says Portion Of Affidavit Related To Raid Can Be Unsealed

“The public’s interest in understanding and accepting the results is served by transparency. Both the government and the court will benefit from this “Attorney Charles Tobin spoke on behalf of the media outlets on Thursday. “What you cannot see, you cannot trust.” The Washington Post reports that Trump himself thinks that making the affidavit public will energize his followers and give him more justification to criticize the Justice Department. But according to legal experts, the former president might easily suffer a setback with that plan.

Trump should be careful with the requests he makes, a former DOJ official told Insider, requesting anonymity to speak openly about the subject. The department’s justification for obtaining its order was “the specter of a conspiracy,” which is preferable to people viewing the evidence. Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the fact that it involves classified records and information important to the US’s national defense, the former official further stated that it is “unheard of” for a judge to unseal an affidavit of this nature.

The DOJ’s investigation was hinted at by Bratt when he told Reinhart that it would be impractical for the government to withhold information it deemed to be truly secret since “there would be nothing of substance” in the withheld affidavit. But according to Andrew Weissmann, a former FBI general counsel who later served on Robert Mueller’s team, even a redacted copy of the document may hold important information about the course of the DOJ investigation and crucial conversations between Trump’s attorneys and department officials before the raid.

The Washington Post reports that Trump himself thinks that making the affidavit public will energize his followers and give him more justification to criticize the Justice Department. But according to legal experts, the former president might easily suffer a setback with that plan. Trump should be careful with the requests he makes, a former DOJ official told Insider, requesting anonymity to speak openly about the subject. The department’s justification for obtaining its order was “the specter of a conspiracy,” which is preferable to people viewing the evidence.

Given the sensitive nature of the investigation and the fact that it involves classified records and information important to the US’s national defense, the former official further stated that it is “unheard of” for a judge to unseal an affidavit of this nature. The DOJ’s investigation was hinted at by Bratt when he told Reinhart that it would be impractical for the government to withhold information it deemed to be truly secret since “there would be nothing of substance” in the withheld affidavit.

But according to Andrew Weissmann, a former FBI general counsel who later served on Robert Mueller’s team, even a redacted copy of the document may hold important information about the course of the DOJ investigation and crucial conversations between Trump’s attorneys and department officials prior to the raid.

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