Thursday, October 6, 2022

Trump Says He Won’t Oppose DOJ’s Request to Unseal Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant

*(Via CNBC) – The Justice Department asked a federal judge Thursday to unseal a search warrant that was used by FBI agents to raid the Florida home of former President Donald Trump three days earlier, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced.

Trump said in a social media post late Thursday that he supported the “immediate release” of search warrant documents. His statement, if officially echoed by his lawyers, is likely to lead a magistrate judge to unseal the warrant and some related documents.

The Justice Department’s request came after days of pressure by Republican lawmakers and other allies of Trump on the department to explain why it authorized what is believed to be the first-ever search of a former president’s residence in connection with a criminal investigation.

The department is seeking to unseal only the warrant and an inventory of items seized by the FBI during the search of Trump’s home at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

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Donald Trump (Brandon Bell-Getty Images)
Donald Trump (Brandon Bell-Getty Images)

But the department is not asking the judge to unseal the affidavit of probable cause, which would detail how authorities believe a crime was likely committed and why there would be evidence of that crime in the location targeted in the search.

However, the warrant itself is likely to list the criminal statutes related to the search.

Later Thursday, a group of media companies, including NBC News, The Washington Post and CNN, filed a motion in to unseal all court records related to the warrant, including “all probable cause affidavits filed in support of the search warrant.” NBC News is a division of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

“The Media Intervenors are news organizations and are entitled, as members of the public, to view judicial records,” the filing said. “The tremendous public interest in these records, in particular, outweighs any purported interest in keeping them secret.”

The Justice Department is investigating Trump for the removal of documents from the White House, and possible violations of classified information laws because of the nature of some of those documents.

“The department filed the motion to make public 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,” Garland said at a surprise press conference.

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