Biden administration urges court to keep Trump research affidavit sealed
On August 15, President Joe Biden’s administration urged a federal court to keep from public view the affidavit that led to the approval of a search warrant on former President Donald’s resort. Trump.
Attorneys for the US Department of Justice (DOJ) said unsealing the affidavit would “irreparably harm the government’s ongoing criminal investigation.”
“Even when the public is already aware of the general nature of the investigation, revealing the specific contents of a search warrant affidavit could alter the trajectory of the investigation, expose ongoing and future investigative efforts, and undermine the ability of officers to gather evidence or obtain truthful testimony,” they wrote in a 13-page brief addressed to U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who is overseeing the case.
“In addition to the implications for the investigation, the release of this type of investigative material could have ‘devastating consequences’ for the reputations and rights of those whose actions and statements are described,” they added, citing an earlier decision in another case. .
A slew of parties, including Judicial Watch, media and the Florida Center for Governmental Accountability, filed motions after the Aug. 8 Mar-a-Lago raid, arguing that it is in the public interest to unseal the affidavit and other related information. documents.
The government and Trump’s lawyers have agreed to some of the documents, and Reinhart unsealed the search warrant and several attachments on August 12, revealing that the government believes Trump violated several laws.
“Different Sets of Considerations”
“The department filed the motion to release the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter,” the prosecutor said. General Merrick Garland in prepared remarks three days later. lowering.
These documents have been made public with few redactions.
“The affidavit in support of the search warrant presents a very different set of considerations. There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing police investigation that involves national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” DOJ attorneys said in the new filing.
Affidavits are documents filed in court that explain why certain actions are necessary. In this case, a law enforcement official filed an affidavit attempting to convince Reinhart to approve the warrant. The affidavit was successful.
The government considered whether the affidavit could be released with redactions, but “the redactions necessary to mitigate damage to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of significant content, and publication of such a redacted version would serve no public interest,” government lawyers said in a footnote to an Aug. 15 brief.
“Nevertheless, should the Court order the partial unsealing of the affidavit, the government respectfully requests the opportunity to provide the Court with proposed redactions,” they said.
The filing was part of a flurry of activity in the August 15 case, which included several other entries sealed until further notice.