U.S Magistrate Bruce Reinhard on Monday formally rejected the Department of Justice’s argument to keep the entire affidavit sealed for the search warrant executed on former President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate on August 8.
Reinhart said the affidavit needs to be at least partially released given the “intense public and historical interest” in the “unprecedented” FBI raid.
Reinhart originally approved the warrant, but on Monday, he officially rejected “the government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire affidavit under seal.”
Last week, in a hearing, the government argued that unsealing the entire affidavit, or releasing even a redacted copy, would “provide a roadmap” of the investigation and could “chill” any other witnesses.
Reinhart ordered the Department of Justice to deliver their proposed redacted copy of the affidavit to the court by Thursday, August 25.
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Reinhart also said last week at the hearing that he will decide after the department has completed its redactions whether he wants to make his own.
Retired F.B.I agents, who wish to remain anonymous, have told CDMedia that what they are looking at is who signed the affidavit.
“Is it the F.B.I. case officer or did F.B.I. Christopher Wray step up to the plate and sign it to take the heat off of the case officer?,” said one retired F.B.I. agent.
The Department of Justice will have an opportunity to appeal Reinhart’s decision if they disagree with his final decision.
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