Judge Denies Biden DOJ Request for Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit remain “fully sealed.”
Judge Bruce Reinhart has denied the Department of Justice’s request that the search warrant affidavit used to authorize the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago remain “fully sealed.”
NEWS — Judge Reinhart says “I am not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed” and asks the government for proposed redactions to the Mar-a-Lago affidavit by next week, adding this will be a careful process.
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) August 18, 2022
Judge Reinhart said that “I am not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed” and asks the government for proposed redactions to the Mar-a-Lago affidavit by next week, adding this will be a careful process, as reported by ABC News.
The breaking news was also covered by Election Wizard.
BREAKING: A federal judge Thursday ordered the government to redact and ultimately release a version of the highly sensitive warrant affidavit that was used to justify a search by the FBI last week of former president Donald Trump’s private home and club.
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) August 18, 2022
“BREAKING: A federal judge Thursday ordered the government to redact and ultimately release a version of the highly sensitive warrant affidavit that was used to justify a search by the FBI last week of former president Donald Trump’s private home and club,” he noted.
The judge earlier stated that the sealing order, motion to seal and criminal cover sheet will also be unsealed, but with heavy redactions.
NEW details from the Florida court hearing that started at 1pm: Judge Bruce Reinhart will unseal certain documents this afternoon including:
– sealing order
– motion to seal
– criminal cover sheet
ALL with redactions. Still early in hearing, no word on possible affidavit release
— Jessica Schneider (@SchneiderCNN) August 18, 2022
As earlier reported, the court hearing flies in the face of the Department of Justice’s wishes that the judge magistrate would simply consent to the attorney general’s desire to keep the entire search warrant affidavit secret. However, if past is prologue, the DOJ will attempt to have as much of the document as possible redacted before releasing it to the public.
However, there is some hope for transparency due to the Department of Justice leaking information on the FBI raid to the press, as pointed out by legal scholar Jonathan Turley.
“The latest leak suggests that the FBI acted on a subpoenaed security tape from outside the storage room at Mar-a-Lago,” Turley states. “While the DOJ demands a total seal on the affidavit to protect the integrity of the investigation, these details continue to be selectively leaked. In the meantime, Attorney General Garland has not taken even modest measures to assure the public that this is not a politically motivated investigation.”
“It is unlikely that the court will reject the DOJ demand for a continued seal,” Turley added. “However, that offers little transparency while these confidential sources continue to frame the coverage through these leaks. It is the leaking from the Justice Department that is fueling speculation. While Garland says that he is deeply concerned about people questioning the integrity of his Department, he has done little to quell such speculation or to address these concerns.”
The Department of Justice’s rationale for maintaining the search warrant affidavit’s secrecy is a familiar one to those who watched the the department’s behavior during the Russiagate scandal, the Mueller investigation, and the Ukraine impeachment hoax. The DOJ claims that providing the public with transparency about why the FBI raided a former president and political rival of the current president before the midterm elections might compromise state secrets and agency methods.
“On August 8, 2022, the Department of Justice executed a search warrant at the premises located at 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, Florida 33480, a property of former President Donald J. Trump,” the DOJ states. “Given the circumstances presented in this matter and the public interest in transparency, and in the wake of the former President’s public confirmation of the search and his representatives’ public characterizations of the materials sought, the government moved to unseal the search warrant, its attachments, and the Property Receipt summarizing materials seized, which motion this Court granted.”
“Those docketed items, which had already been provided to the former President’s counsel upon execution of the warrant, have now appropriately been made public,” the DOJ continues. The affidavit supporting the search warrant presents a very different set of considerations. There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed.”
The entire legal document can be read below:
The search warrant lists three crimes, which are summarized in import by the legal analyst TechnoFog:
- 18 USC § 793 – also called the Espionage Act. This statute “prohibits communicating, transmitting, or delivering to any person not entitled to receive it ‘any document, writing, … or note relating to the national defense,’ or attempting to do so.”1
- 18 USC § 2071. This law prohibits the removal of “any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office. . .”
- 18 USC § 1519. This statute prohibits the destruction of “any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States.” As you can imagine, the press is giddy with allegations the former President violated the Espionage Act..
The FBI’s search warrant can be viewed in full below.
There is an attachment that proves that the FBI’s search warrant was overly broad. Attachment B shows the investigative scope to be both classified and unclassified documents, evidence of transmission of “national defense information or classified material,” and evidence relating to the alternation/destruction of “Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.”
Attachment B, subsection c, clearly states: “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”
This confirms beyond a reasonable doubt that the FBI was undertaking a fishing expedition. As The Federalist’s Sean Davis noted:
Under “Attachment B” of the FBI raid document, Garland demanded the seizure of literally any record Trump ever saw, read, or created over the entire 4-year term of his presidency: “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 12, 2022
“Under ‘Attachment B’ of the FBI raid document, Garland demanded the seizure of literally any record Trump ever saw, read, or created over the entire 4-year term of his presidency,” Davis notes. “Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”
As referenced above, Bruce Reinhart, the judge who signed off on the search warrant for the FBI’s unprecedented raid of former President Donald Trump, was a political donor to former President Barack Obama and was a lawyer for the disgraced pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
(TLB) published this article from Becker News as written and compiled by Kyle Becker
Header featured image (edited) credit: Reinhart/ htownews.com/democratic-or-not-judge-who-authorized-the-fbis-raid-on-mar-a-lago
emphasis added by (TLB) editors
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