Judge issues ruling on Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit

Breitbart News reports that Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has ordered the unsealing of a redacted version of the search warrant affidavit behind the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid. 

According to Reinhart’s ruling, the redacted version of the affidavit has to be unsealed by Friday at noon.

Background

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has been fighting to keep the contents of the search warrant affidavit sealed. They have argued that unsealing the affidavit would jeopardize their ongoing investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Reinhart, however, has rejected the DOJ’s argument to keep the document completely sealed, citing “intense public and historical interest” regarding the FBI’s “unprecedented” raid of the residence of a former president.

Reinhart, though, has provided the DOJ with the opportunity to make redactions to the search warrant affidavit before it is unsealed. The DOJ had until Thursday at noon to submit those redactions.

Reinhart’s latest ruling

It was shortly after the DOJ submitted its redactions that Reinhart ordered the unsealing of the redacted search warrant affidavit.

Reinhart said that, after reviewing the redactions, he found that the DOJ “has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit.”

Reinhart did go into more detail, explaining that unsealing an unredacted version would reveal “the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties,” that it would reveal the investigation’s “strategy, direction, scope, sources and methods,” and that it would reveal “grand jury information.”

All of this is protected by federal law.

What now?

The redacted version of the search warrant affidavit will be unsealed by Friday at noon. That is unless the DOJ decides to appeal the matter. It remains to be seen whether it will do so.

One would expect to find in the affidavit various key pieces of information, including why the investigators believe there is probable cause that a crime or crimes had been committed by the former president.

But, the key question will be just how much of the affidavit is redacted. It’s something that we should get the answer to very soon.

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