A US judge on Thursday evening ordered the release of a redacted version of the affidavit authorizing the search of ex-President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. It is to be made public before a federal court by Friday noon (local time). The court order was shared by a Politico reporter on Twitter Thursday night.
The order was issued after the US Department of Justice submitted proposals for redacting. These are necessary in order not to endanger witnesses or to not endanger the investigation into Trump’s handling of secret documents, since these are only “in the early stages”.
Federal Judge Bruce E. Reinhart appeared to agree with the proposed changes and, following requests from several US media houses, ordered that the affidavit be made available to the public.
The affidavit likely contains important information about the investigation into classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago residence after Trump left office, including why the FBI agents suspect there may be a criminal offense in the connection present.
Large US media houses had previously requested exactly this release. The lawyers, who represent the New York Times and the broadcasters ABC and NBC, among others, argue that the public’s interest in the details of this case outweighs any arguments in favor of sealing.
The raid a week and a half ago is part of an investigation into whether Trump illegally removed documents from the White House when he left the presidency in January 2021. The Justice Department is investigating several possible violations, including a provision in the Espionage Act that prohibits possession of national defense information.
Also against a law that criminalizes knowingly destroying, concealing or falsifying records to obstruct an investigation. During the search, the FBI seized several boxes containing, among other things, material marked “top secret”.