The Department of Justice has filed a publicly available version of the affidavit used to justify the search warrant for Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago. Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart ordered the filing to be made public by noon Friday, August 26. The document as released is heavily redacted, but includes the following information alleged and presented by the DOJ:
- The agent who swore to the affidavit was from the FBI’s Washington, DC, Field Office.
- The source of the evidence is FBI agents’ “personal knowledge,” not a whistleblower or Trump insider.
- The affidavit cites probable cause to find evidence of obstruction of justice will be found at Mar-a-Lago.
- The document states evidence will support crimes of 1) Gathering, transmitting, or losing defense information, 2) Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of government documents, 3) Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations and bankruptcy.
Fourteen of the document’s 32 pages were completely blacked out, and several other pages had significant redactions. Judge Reinhart was the original audience for the affidavit, filed by DOJ lawyers to convince the judge to sign the warrant, which he did. The judge rejected Biden administration lawyers’ arguments that the entire affidavit should be kept secret. Reinhart gave government lawyers until noon on Thursday, August 25, to submit a filing “addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument.”
Included with the affidavit was an exhibit attached thereto. It’s a letter from Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran to a DOJ lawyer in the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section of the National Security Division. The May 25 letter was a rebuttal, in advance of any charges, as well as a warning. It says “Presidential Actions Involving Classified Documents Are Not Subject To Criminal Sanction” in one subheading. Corcoran argues that any attempt to impose criminal liability on Trump regarding these documents “would implicate grave constitutional separation-of-powers issues. Beyond that, the primary criminal statute that governs the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material does not apply to the President.”
The full affidavit, including redactions, can be viewed at Liberty Nation here.