Updated Aug 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge unseals warrant and inventory related to Mar-a-Lago search

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

Former president Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Photo: Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A judge on Friday unsealed certain documents related to the search warrant for former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Why it matters: The unsealed warrant and inventory provides a glimpse into the items seized during the search and what potential crimes the Department of Justice is investigating, including those related to Trump's handling of presidential records.

Driving the news: The inventory shows the FBI removed 11 sets of classified information from the Trump property, including some marked as "top secret."

  • The documents also confirm FBI removed classified documents that were only meant to be kept in secure government facilities.
  • The revelations undercut Trump and his allies’ claims that the search warrant was baseless.

The big picture: Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a surprise briefing on Thursday that the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal parts of the search warrant for Trump's residence.

  • The motion requested that the court unseal the search warrant, "absent objection by former President Trump."
  • Trump late on Thursday said that he will "not oppose the release of documents," adding that he is "going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents," he wrote on his Truth Social account.
  • Trump's post all but guaranteed the release of the warrant.
  • Republicans, who since the raid have demanded that the Justice Department release the search warrant, have also asked for the release of the affidavit that supported the warrant.
  • That would disclose more details about the investigation, including the probable cause that warranted the search in the first place.

Catch up quick: The judge who approved the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, asked the Justice Department to consult with Trump's legal team and determine by Friday at 3 p.m. whether Trump supported the motion to unseal.

Between the lines: The Justice Department does not typically release information publicly on criminal investigations, especially when the investigation is ongoing.

  • But Garland said the DOJ filed the motion "in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter."

Agents collected 21 labeled boxes that contained either "miscellaneous confidential documents," "miscellaneous secret documents" or "miscellaneous top secret documents," according to the warrant.

  • They also seized an executive grant of clemency for Trump's associate Roger Stone, "Info re: President of France," a leatherbound box of documents, two binders of photos, a handwritten note and "Various classified/TS/SCI documents," referring to documents containing "top Secret" or "sensitive compartmented information."

Read the unsealed documents:

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper... Garland says he “personally approved” search warrant at Trump’s residence

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