Judge Orders the Government To Provide a Redacted Version of the FBI Search Warrant
In a partial but significant win for former President Donald Trump, a judge ordered the government to provide a redacted version of the FBI search warrant affidavit used to justify a raid on Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
The highly anticipated ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart was announced Thursday afternoon. Per Trump’s request, the government has been ordered to disclose the key documents that led to the approval of the search warrant.
The Epoch Times reported that Reinhart will review the proposed redactions and decide if they are appropriate.
Attorney General Merrick Garland has resisted Trump’s demand to disclose the information. On Thursday, Reinhart heard arguments from government lawyers, Trump advisers, and attorneys representing media outlets — both Trump advisers and media outlet attorneys called for disclosing pertinent information.
The affidavit in question profiles the rationale for justifying a search warrant.
Reinhart noted during the hearing that “there may be information in the affidavit that is so sensitive that he will decide it should remain hidden from the public,” according to the Epoch Times.
No date has yet been given for his review of the redacted material.
Reinhart’s objectivity has been scrutinized. The former attorney for Jeffery Epstein recently recused himself from a case involving Trump and Hillary Clinton and, on August 5, approved the warrant.
Reinhart also approved unsealing the warrant at the urging of Trump’s legal team.
The unsealed documents reveal that government officials believed Trump violated several laws, including one prohibiting, destroying, altering or falsifying certain records.
Unsealed inventory records note that FBI agents seized “classified” and “Top Secret” records from Trump’s home. Though media outlets have widely echoed this charge, Trump emphatically states that the documents in his possession were publicly declassified before he left office in Jan. 2021.
Adding to the controversy, the inventory listing did not note that agents took Trump’s passports, which the FBI returned after Trump made the matter public and argued that such a seizure was inappropriate.
It is expected that spokespersons for Trump and the Justice Department will make extended statements once the redacted version of the affidavit is released.