The Justice Department has officially released the redacted affidavit used to obtain the search warrant used by the FBI in its recent raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence under the direction of U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart.
A website where the federal judge in Florida is unsealing documents relating to the FBI’s raid is repeatedly crashing because of surging demand.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit states.
Approximately 20 pages of the 38-page affidavit were either significantly or fully redacted.
The FBI said it had “probable cause to believe” that records containing classified information, including National Defense Information, would be found within Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in addition to what he had previously turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration according to the document.
Read the redacted affidavit below:
Judge Bruce Reinhart gave the Justice Department until noon on Thursday to submit the redacted document after rejecting the Justice Department’s pressure to keep the record under seal.
Fox News reports:
Reinhart said that after reviewing the Justice Department’s redaction, the government “has met its burden of showing a compelling reason” and “good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit,” saying the disclosure would reveal “the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties,” the investigation’s “strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and “grand jury information” protected by federal rules.
Reinhart said that after reviewing the affidavit with redactions, he has determined that the Justice Department “has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit.”
On Monday, Judge Reinhart wrote in a memo that he was inclined to make parts of the document public, saying it would “promote public understanding of historically significant events.” The DOJ pressured Reinhart to keep the document under wraps out of concern Trump supporters would retaliate against witnesses.
Ahead of the affidavit’s release, Trump slammed the Justice Department’s “political hacks and thugs” in a statement shared to Truth Social.
“The political hacks and thugs had no right under the Presidential Records Act to storm Mar-a-Lago and steal everything in sight including passports and privileged documents. They even broke into my safe with a safecracker – Can you believe?” Trump added. “This Act was created for a very good reason, and it works. We are right now living in a Lawless Country that just so happens to be, also, a Failing Nation!”
When asked if national security could’ve been compromised by Trump’s handling of classified documents, Biden deferred to the ongoing investigation
Trump has responded following the affidavit’s release calling for Judge Reinhart’s immediate recusal from the case.
“Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me,” Trump wrote on his Truth social account. “What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!
President Joe Biden dismissed claims from Trump that he broadly declassified the boxes of White House documents he took to Florida after leaving office.
“I’ve declassified everything in the world. I’m president,” Biden said sarcastically, waving his hands in the air to reporters outside of the White House. “Come on.”
Republican lawmakers have shared harsh reactions to the substantial redactions since the affidavit’s publication.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs shared a screenshot of one of the heavily redacted pages and called for more transparency on this Twitter.
North Carolina Congressman echoed calls for transparency in his own message.
Conservative report Elijah Schafer shared a touch-and-cheek message about the redacted document as well.