Mar-A-Lago raid judge agrees to partially unseal affidavit

Attorney General Merrick Garland may have just been dealt a serious blow in his effort to keep the details of the unprecedented Mar-A-Lago raid under wraps.

The federal magistrate judge who signed the search warrant, Bruce Reinhart, said he would allow a redacted version of the affidavit behind the raid to go public, ABC News reported.

Judge agrees to release Mar-A-Lago affidavit

President Trump has implored the judge to release the unredacted affidavit ASAP, over the objections of the Department of Justice.

Normally anti-Trump media outlets such as the New York Times and CNN have also pushed for the affidavit to come out, citing the enormous public interest in uncovering whether the government had a legitimate reason for raiding the home of a former president.

Reinhart unsealed a search warrant last week after days of pressure, but that provided little insight into the details of the raid or its justification. That hasn’t stopped Garland from angrily defending the raid as a routine law enforcement action, as Democrats like Kamala Harris blast “dangerous” rhetoric suggesting the raid is political.

At a hearing Thursday, the DOJ’s Jay Bratt similarly suggested that it would be dangerous for the government to be transparent.

Releasing the affidavit would jeopardize the investigation into Trump’s alleged illegal possession of classified materials and let “amateur sleuths” on the internet identify key witnesses, which could place them in harm’s way, Bratt said.

What next?

But Reinhart said that he is “not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed.”

The question now is, will the redacted affidavit say anything substantive, or is Merrick Garland being given another chance to stonewall?

The DOJ told Reinhart that anything which the government would leave unredacted would not be of “meaningful” public interest.

Reinhart said that it’s not his responsibility to ensure the material that is released is interesting.

Trump has said that his lawyers were cooperating and there was no need for the raid, which the right has condemned as a chilling escalation in a crackdown on dissent by the Biden White House. In June, Trump met with FBI agents at Mar-A-Lago and even received a thank-you note from Bratt afterward.

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