The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s estate in Mar-a-Lago, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses.
The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, including The Associated Press, seeking to unseal the underlying affidavit the Justice Department submitted when it asked for the warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.
Trump, in a Truth Social post early Tuesday, called for the release of the un-redacted affidavit in the interest of transparency.
The court filing — from Juan Antonio Gonzalez, the U.S. attorney in Miami, and Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department national security official — argues that making the affidavit public would “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.”
The document, the prosecutors say, details “highly sensitive information about witnesses,” including people who have been interviewed by the government, and contains confidential grand jury information.
The government told a federal magistrate judge that prosecutors believe some additional records, including the cover sheet for the warrant and the government’s request to seal the documents, should now be made public.
A property receipt unsealed Friday showed the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, with some not only marked top secret but also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” damage to U.S. interests. The court records did not provide specific details about information the documents might contain.
The Justice Department acknowledged Monday that its ongoing criminal investigation “implicates highly classified material.”
The search warrant, also unsealed Friday, said federal agents were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The other statutes address the concealment, mutilation or removal of records and the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.
But the Justice Department, in its filing Monday, argued that its investigation is active and ongoing and that releasing additional information could not only compromise the probe but also subject witnesses to threats or deter others from coming forward to cooperate with prosecutors.
“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the government wrote in the court filing.
August 16, 2022 at 7:34 am
Let’s see we have espionage related crimes, election crimes, incitement of insurrection, various frauds and thefts, a plethora of sexual assaults, manslaughter over Ashli Babbitt. Question is only…what crimes has he NOT committed??? That and how can people stoop so low as to defend the SOB. It appears as though Americans are de-evolving back into apes because of these idiots.
August 16, 2022 at 8:05 am
This type of language doesn’t help folks walk back from their respective tribes either. Neither does the language of your “friend” on the firmly right side of the political spectrum who is a frequent poster on this site.
August 16, 2022 at 8:54 am
Trumpists can walk off a bridge for all I give a damn. They just about ushered in a far right plutocracy and every one of them can rot. Not worth the powder it would take to blow their GD brains out.
August 20, 2022 at 10:35 am
“Not worth the powder it would take to blow their GD brains out.”
And I must ask: Why is the poster responsible for this comment not banned from this site?
Dem’s have become well known for their hateful language.
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