Judge orders parts of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago search affidavit to be unsealed

A federal magistrate judge ordered that portions of the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit be unsealed by next Thursday (Pictures: Reuters/EPA)

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to unseal parts of a probable cause affidavit used to search former President ’s Mar-a-Lago home.

‘On my initial careful review… there are portions of it that can be unsealed,’ said Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart from a Palm Beach courthouse on Thursday afternoon.

Reinhart said he would ‘give the government a full and fair opportunity’ to redact portions of the document, with a deadline of turning it in next Thursday.

‘I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed,’ Reinhart wrote in a ruling after the hearing.

FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on August 8 in search of classified documents (Picture: AP)

Reinhart’s decision came after a top government attorney argued that releasing the document could jeopardize the investigation that remains in the ‘early stages’.

The ‘detailed and reasonably lengthy’ document needs to be kept confidential since it has ‘substantial grand jury’ information, said Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department counterintelligence and national security official.

Bratt said the case has ‘national security overtones’ and is ‘unique’.

Media outlets as well as Trump’s allies have been calling for its release.

Charles Tobin, an attorney for media organizations pushing for the unsealing, argued that the search warrant has great public interest. The search on August 8 was ‘one of the most significant law enforcement events in the nation’s history’, he said.

‘The time for everybody to get it right is now,’ Tobin said.

Trump’s lawyer, Christina Bobb, was in the courtroom but did not present arguments.

Awaiting the decision, Trump supporters gathered alongside national media members outside the Paul G Rogers Federal Building and US Courthouse.

Trump in a post on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday called for the unredacted affidavit to be released.

A property receipt that a judge ordered unsealed last Friday showed that FBI agents seized 11 sets of classified documents.

Reinhart’s ruling came hours after former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in New York City .

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