Judge Orders Release of More Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant Information in Trump Classified Docs Case



In connection with the former president’s case involving classified documents, a judge ruled that more parts of the federal government’s search warrant affidavit for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence can now be made public.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart wrote Wednesday that more sealed parts of the affidavit that was used in the FBI raid in August 2022 “should be unsealed.” However, the entirety of the affidavit shouldn’t be unsealed, he wrote, giving the Department of Justice (DOJ) until July 13 to appeal.

In an order (pdf), Mr. Reinhart, who approved the unprecedented Mar-a-Lago FBI search, wrote that the federal government “has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions of the affidavit are narrowly tailored to serve the government’s legitimate interests and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire search warrant affidavit.” It came in response to a petition from media outlets to unseal the affidavit, which he denied.

In the meantime, the judge noted that the Justice Department had concurred in a sealed filing that some portions of the search warrant might be made public. To comply with “grand jury secrecy rules and to protect investigative sources and methods,” other portions should be kept confidential.

When and how the affidavit’s less-redacted version will be filed, as well as how the new details will be made public, are unknown.

The search warrant affidavit was made public by the DOJ in redacted form in August of last year and in a version with fewer redactions in September. The reasons why investigators believed crimes had been committed at Mr. Trump’s home, however, were not fully disclosed.

Mr. Trump was charged with mishandling classified information, including materials related to national defense, on 37 counts last month. Along with other offenses, Mr. Trump was accused of making false statements and conspiring to obstruct the course of justice. To all of the accusations, the former president has entered a not guilty plea.

Authorities claim that Mr. Trump flaunted the documents to individuals who lacked security clearance to review them and later attempted to hide information from his own attorneys as they worked to abide by court orders requiring the discovery and return of documents. The most serious offenses can result in a 20-year prison sentence.

Mr. Trump, on his Truth Social app last month, called his indictment “a DARK DAY for the United States of America.” In a video, he said, “I’m innocent and we will prove that very, very soundly and hopefully very quickly.”

Late in June, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon rejected a Justice Department request to put 84 potential witnesses’ names under seal so that Mr. Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, would not be allowed to discuss the case with them while it is still pending in court. Ms. Cannon stated that, in her opinion, the Justice Department failed to provide sufficient justification for either the need to file the list with the court or the need to keep the list sealed from public view.

“The Government’s Motion does not explain why filing the list with the Court is necessary,” the judge wrote in her June 26 order. “It does not offer a particularized basis to justify sealing the list from public view; it does not explain why partial sealing, redaction, or means other than sealing are unavailable or unsatisfactory; and it does not specify the duration of any proposed seal,” she added.

The 14th of July will serve as the date for a pretrial conference to discuss issues pertaining to the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Previously, the DOJ’s special counsel, Jack Smith, who is in charge of the numerous cases against Trump, suggested scheduling Mr. Trump’s trial for December 11 in order to postpone the judge’s original August date. Ms. Cannon instructed defense counsel to reply by July 6 to this request.

Trump has maintained his lead in the polls despite the negative coverage. According to a Fox News poll conducted last week, the 45th president has a 34 percent advantage over Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while Mike Pence, the former vice president, is in third place with just 3 percent of the vote.

In a hypothetical head-to-head contest today, according to a Quinnipiac poll released around the same time, Mr. Trump would prevail over President Joe Biden, a Democrat. According to the poll, Mr. Trump has 47% of the vote to Mr. Biden’s 46%.

Walt Nauta, a former White House valet who is a co-defendant in the case, is scheduled to be arraigned this Thursday.

Earlier this year, Mr. Trump was accused of falsifying business records in relation to payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office. In an April court appearance in Manhattan, the former president entered a plea of not guilty to the charges, denying any wrongdoing.

The Epoch Times contacted Mr. Smith’s office for comment on Wednesday, no response yet.

#M904721ScriptRootC1506001 { min-height: 300px; }

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Cancel reply


Exit mobile version