The federal government received bad news as Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled that they must unseal the affidavit leading to the FBI raid at President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.
Judge Bruce Reinhart rejected the Justice Department’s argument to keep the affidavit hidden from Americans. Reinhart called the raid “unprecedented” and said there is “intense public and historical interest” for unsealing the affidavit.
The documents in Donald Trump’s possession were such a huge national security threat that Merrick Garland debated for weeks, weeks!, whether to sign the warrants. Release the affidavit. This search was a political scam. pic.twitter.com/UGaePyg6SS
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 16, 2022
The Justice Department is given more time to propose redactions to the affidavit in order to protect the identities of FBI agents and investigative sources.
Ultimately, this is a major victory for Trump who has encouraged the release of the affidavit while the DOJ requested to keep it sealed.
In his ruling, Judge Reinhart said he rejects “the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
It’s widely speculated that the affidavit will shine light on the fact that the search was politically motivated and a “political scam.”
The affidavit is the place where the DOJ specifies the crime they believe has been committed by Trump. This would be needed to show cause for a federal judge to authorize the Mar-a-Lago raid.
The Biden DOJ moves to conceal the affidavit. This—not the warrant but the affidavit—is the place where the DOJ specifies the crime they believe has been committed. This is where they show cause to a federal judge for why they should be authorized to do the Mar-a-Lago raid pic.twitter.com/Tr7CjlUOcl
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) August 15, 2022
“The Government argues that even requiring it to redact portions of the Affidavit that could not reveal agent identities or investigative sources and methods imposes an undue burden on its resources and sets a precedent that could be disruptive and burdensome in future cases,” Reinhart wrote.
“I do not need to reach the question of whether, in some other case, these concerns could justify denying public access; they very well might,” he continued.
Judge Reinhart explained, “Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing.”
More on this story via Fox News:
Reinhart said he has given the Justice Department an “opportunity to propose redaction,” something he granted last week, giving the government a deadline of Thursday, Aug. 25 at noon.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that by the deadline, the Government shall file under seal a submission addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal,” the motion states.
Reinhart, during a highly anticipated hearing in the West Palm Beach Division of Florida last Thursday, said that the entire affidavit should not be kept under seal, despite the Justice Department’s argument that the release would jeopardize future steps in the investigation and provide a “roadmap” for the probe.
Reinhart will then review those redactions and determine how best to proceed — whether to accept the recommendations from government prosecutors or perform his own redactions instead.
The judge also reminded that the government or media, the two parties to the suit, can appeal his ruling if one or both object to his proposed redactions, which would remain under seal.
Government prosecutor Jay Bratt last week argued that unsealing the affidavit would “provide a roadmap” of an ongoing investigation still in its early stages.