CNN correspondent Evan Perez implied former President Donald Trump gave Breitbart News the search warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago Monday.
Perez apparently drew his conclusion after learning Breitbart disclosed the identities of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who signed the warrant application.
“It was redacted,” Perez exclaimed. “It was redacted by the court when the document was released.”
“However, before it was released by the court, before it was officially released, someone – I think we know who,” insinuated Perez, “managed to get it to right wing news organizations, and at least one of them published a document in total, including the names of those federal agents who were simply doing their job.”
It is true that the court withheld agents’ names by redacting their identities on the copies released to the public after the Albany Times Union and Judicial Watch asked the court for their release. Later, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland owned up to authorizing the raid on Trump’s Florida home and asked the court to release a redacted copy of the warrant.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart Friday released redacted copies of the warrant. Requests to unseal the warrant’s underlying probable cause affidavit have not been decided yet. Legal experts note it is unusual for courts to unseal those affidavits before an indictment. But raiding the home of a former president of the United States is without precedent, so it remains to be seen how that goes.
Perez ignored logic by jumping to his conclusion that Trump sent Breitbart an unredacted copy of the warrant application. He and his attorneys are not the only ones to have access to the original documents.
Reinhart’s clerk would have access to the original document as would anyone in the county clerk’s office where the documents were filed. Justice Department officials who are relentlessly pursuing the former president would have access to an unredacted copy of the warrant, also.
Finally, the FBI has a past history of document manipulation in their dogged determination to end Trump. FBI Director James Comey briefed Trump about the infamous Steele Dossier and then leaked about the meeting to Buzzfeed. That FBI leak was promptly followed by Buzzfeed publishing the disinformation document developed by Hillary Clinton campaign operatives.
Then, FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to falsifying a document used in a FISA court warrant application to spy on a member of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Senior FBI agent Peter Strzok exchanged many anti-Trump texts while he was leading an investigation against him. FBI lawyer Lisa Page, his lover, texted for assurance Trump was “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
“No. No he’s not,” Strzok responded, “We’ll stop it.”
So, it is not beyond reason to consider FBI agents anonymously gave Breitbart News an unredacted copy of the arrest warrant in another attempt to discredit the likely 2024 GOP presidential candidate.