The Justice Department on Friday released a redacted version of the affidavit prosecutors submitted in federal court to secure a warrant to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who approved the search warrant, ordered the document's release after reviewing the DOJ’s proposed redactions Thursday.
The 38-page document released on Friday was heavily redacted, with more than half of the highly anticipated pages blacked out.
Since the unprecedented search of the former president's Florida home on Aug. 8, Trump has accused the Justice Department, without evidence, of politically-motivated “prosecutorial misconduct” and suggested that agents “planted evidence.” In response, the Justice Department moved to unseal the warrant and property receipt from the search.
Those documents, released on Aug. 12, revealed that agents seized nearly two dozen boxes from Trump’s home, including 11 sets of classified records and some that were labeled “top secret,” the highest level of classification reserved for the most closely held U.S. national security information. The warrant indicated that the former president is under investigation for several potential crimes related to the possible mishandling of documents, including possible violations of the Espionage Act and potential obstruction of justice charges.
Multiple news outlets requested the release of the affidavit, which details the government’s probable cause for seeking a warrant for the unprecedented search of a former president’s home, citing public interest. In a formal order issued Monday, Reinhart acknowledged the “intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President's residence,” and said the DOJ had not yet proven that releasing it would compromise its ongoing investigation.
Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News; photo: DOJ, Steve Helber/AP