The Justice Department is wanting to help keep an affidavit linked to the search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida private to safeguard witnesses along with other areas of the case. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 18 (UPI) — A federal judge in Florida ordered the Justice Department on Thursday to redact portions of the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, presuming that a few of it could unsealed.
Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart said at the very least portions of the affidavit could “presumptively be unsealed.” He ordered the Justice Department to send him proposed redactions under seal by noon Aug. 25.
The department has opposed releasing the document, saying it could compromise the investigation into former President Donald Trump‘s handling of potentially classified documents he took with him to his Palm Beach, Fla., residence when he left the White House.
Reinhart gave the federal government weekly to redact any portions of the affidavit they believe will harm their ongoing investigation that resulted in the search.
Before the hearing, the department had proposed redactions in the event Reinhart allowed a partial unsealing.
The department moved to unseal the search warrant and FBI property receipt from the explore Aug. 11.
In a 13-page legal filing this week, Justice Department lawyers called the affidavit a matter of national security and warned Reinhart against releasing it.
“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific information regarding its direction and likely course, in a fashion that is highly more likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the filing said.
The department also argued that making the affidavit public would expose government witnesses that are mixed up in investigation.
The news headlines outlets asking Reinhart to unseal the affidavit — such as CNN, THE BRAND NEW York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal — are doing this due to widespread public interest and the public’s to know following remarks from Trump which are at odds with the Justice Department’s account.
Either side can appeal the ruling.
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law may be the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said following the FBI search the other day. Pool Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/UPI
The other day, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stopped lacking releasing the affidavit because he said it could reveal probable cause that led prosecutors to trust a crime have been committed, and that evidence may be bought at Mar-a-Lago.
The warrant revealed a study that’s centered on potential crimes involving obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act.
The Aug. 8 search of Trump’s home caused a national uproar among Republicans who say the search and the case are politically motivated. Some supporters have needed violence against federal agents. FBI Director Christopher Wray has condemned the threats against agents from far-right corners of the web.
Trump in addition has needed the immediate release of the affidavit and ranted contrary to the FBI and Justice Department on his social platform Truth Social, including an accusation that agents took three of his passports.
The FBI issued a statement Monday saying that it had been dealing with Trump’s attorneys to come back the passports and evidence that does “not want to be retained for police purposes.”
At Mar-a-Lago, agents seized 11 boxes of documents, including a minumum of one group of papers that were categorized as ” inside info “, classified or sensitive. The investigation can be wanting to determine whether highly secret information regarding the U.S. nuclear arsenal were portion of the documents taken up to Florida.