Justice Department ordered to release redacted Donald Trump search warrant affidavit

The Justice Department met its Thursday deadline to submit proposed redactions to the search affidavit used in the Mar-a-Lago raid (Pictures: AP)

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to release a redacted version of the search warrant affidavit the FBI used to seize documents from former President ’s home.

US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart issued the order for the public release on Thursday, shortly after the Justice Department submitted its proposed redactions to the affidavit. The agency must provide the redacted affidavit by Friday at noon, reported.

The agency’s submission met the Thursday noon deadline set by Reinhart, who exactly a week ago .

Justice Department spokesman Anthony Coley stated: ‘The United States has filed a submission under seal per the Court’s order of Aug. 22. The Justice Department respectfully declines further comment as the Court considers the matter.’

In his order, Reinhart said the agency convinced him that the affidavit should not be completely unsealed because ‘disclosure would reveal (1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, (2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and (3) grand jury information’.

The Justice Department met ‘its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit’, Reinhart said.

Soon after the Justice Department’s submission, a conglomeration of media outlets for the agency’s brief commenting on the redactions. They argued that the brief should be released with any necessary redactions to safeguard the probe.

‘As this Court has also recognized, there is little interest in maintaining secrecy with respect to facts about the investigation that the government has already publicly confirmed to be accurate,’ the news outlets stated.

‘Any portions of the Brief that recite those facts about the investigation, without revealing additional ones not yet publicly available – in addition to any other portions that pose no threat to the investigation – should be unsealed.’

The affidavit could shed light on the reasoning for allowing FBI agents to search Trump’s home on August 8. It could also show evidence that the federal government handed to the judge.

News of the Justice Department’s submission broke shortly after and criticized and questioned President Joe Biden’s claim that he did not have prior knowledge of the raid.

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