Updated Aug 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Florida judge orders government to submit redacted Mar-a-Lago affidavit

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

The Florida judge who approved the search warrant for former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence gave the U.S. Department of Justice until next Thursday to file a redacted version of the affidavit related to the search.

Why it matters: It's a sign of Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart's potential willingness to unseal parts of the affidavit, which would shed light on new details of the investigation, including the probable cause that warranted the search.

Driving the news: "The government shall file under seal ex parte its redactions and any briefing it would like to include," Reinhart said in court on Thursday.

  • Reinhart also said that he is "not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed," adding that there were parts of the document that "could be presumptively unsealed," per the New York Times.

The big picture: The Justice Department argued Thursday for the affidavit to remain sealed, contending that its release "would provide a road map and suggest next investigative steps we are about to take," the Washington Post reports.

  • Jay Bratt, the head of the counterintelligence and export control section of DOJ’s National Security Division who argued on behalf of the government on Thursday, said that releasing the affidavit may "chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations," per CNN.

Between the lines: Reinhart has received a deluge of antisemitic and other threats since the FBI search.

State of play: The unsealed search warrant and inventory revealed the FBI removed around 20 boxes, including 11 sets of classified information from the Trump property, including some marked as "top secret."

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

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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