Judge: Feds Must Release Redacted Trump Affidavit

Justice Department ordered to release document related to Mar-a-Lago search Friday morning
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 25, 2022 3:07 PM CDT
Judge: Feds Must Release Redacted Trump Affidavit
This is an aerial view of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

A judge on Thursday ordered the Justice Department to make public a redacted version of the affidavit it relied on for the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, per the AP. The directive from US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart came hours after federal law enforcement submitted the portions of the affidavit that they want to keep secret as their investigation moves forward. The judge said the department must file its redacted version by noon Friday. The redactions proposed by the department are likely to be extensive, so it's not clear how much new information about the investigation will be revealed.

Documents already made public as part of the investigation show that the FBI retrieved 11 sets of classified documents, including information marked at the top secret level, from former President Trump's Florida estate in Palm Beach. The documents also showed that the FBI was investigating the “willful retention of national defense information,” the concealment or removal of government records, and obstruction of a federal investigation.

Multiple news media organizations argued in court last week for the disclosure of the affidavit, citing the extraordinary public interest in the federal search of a former president's home. Trump and some of his supporters have also encouraged the document's release. The Justice Department has opposed the move, however, saying the disclosure risks compromising an ongoing criminal investigation, revealing information about witnesses, and divulging investigative techniques. (Read more Mar-a-Lago stories.)

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