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On Monday, Federal prosecutors asked a judge not to unseal a key document related to the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
After investigating former President Donald Trump, federal prosecutors said the document contains “highly sensitive information” that could compromise the national security probe.
The request arrived three days after the federal judge made the search warrant public, along with other materials that outlined key details of the raid.
The DOJ push back back the affidavit release
Last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said he personally approved the warrant, saying he supported its disclosure regarding the “substantial public interest in this matter.”
However, on Monday, the Department of Justice pushed back on calls to release the affidavit that supported the search warrant.
They reasoned that it “presents a very different set of considerations.”
In the US District Court in Florida, the Federal prosecutors wrote:
“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that supports keeping the affidavit sealed.”
The affidavit contains “critically important and detailed investigative facts,” according to the filing that was signed by Jay Bratt, the head of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the DOJ’s National Security Division.
The facts include “highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal” following the federal rules, as written by the prosecutors.
“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the filing wrote.
“In addition, information about witnesses is particularly sensitive given the high-profile nature of this matter and the risk that the revelation of witness identities would impact their willingness to cooperate with the investigation,” the prosecutors added.
The prosecutors said they contemplated releasing a heavily-redacted version of the affidavit but ultimately concluded that “the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content.”
On Friday, the search warrant and property receipt were unsealed and revealed more behind the search of Trump’s home.
However, it also raised more questions regarding the federal investigation of the former President.
According to the documents, the FBI got hold of 20 boxes of items and other materials that included multiple sets of top secret and classified documents.
The warrant indicates that the agents were searching for materials connected to three criminal statutes, including one that was part of the Espionage Act.
A statute relating to removing or destroying government records includes a punishment of being “disqualified from holding any office under the United States,” according to the law text.
Meanwhile, none of the three statutes (Title 18 of the United States Code, Sections 793, 1519, and 2071) depend on whether the documents were classified.
Early on Monday, Trump announced on his social media platform that the FBI confiscated three of his passports during the raid, including one that had expired.
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