JUST IN: Judge Formally Rejects DOJ Argument to Keep Trump Raid Affidavit Sealed
Judge Bruce Reinhart on Monday formally rejected the Justice Department’s argument to keep the Trump raid affidavit sealed.
The judge last Thursday ordered the Justice Department to unseal only a portion of the probable cause affidavit.
Judge Reinhart called the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago “unprecedented.”
“The Government argues that even requiring it to redact portions of the Affidavit that could not reveal agent identities or investigative sources and methods imposes an undue burden on its resources and sets a precedent that could be disruptive and burdensome in future cases,” Reinhart wrote. “I do not need to reach the question of whether, in some other case, these concerns could justify denying public access; they very well might.”
Judge Reinhart gave the DOJ an “opportunity to propose redaction.”
The government has until Thursday, August 25 at noon to file under seal a submission “addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal.”
Reinhart said he will review the redactions and make changes if necessary.
The judge also said the media outlets who are parties to the lawsuit can appeal his ruling, Fox News reported.
Fox News reported:
Judge Bruce Reinhart on Monday admitted the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was “unprecedented” and formally rejected the Justice Department’s argument to keep the affidavit leading to the search under seal, citing the “intense public and historical interest.”
Reinhart, in a filing Monday morning, said he rejects “the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
“Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing.”
Reinhart said he has given the Justice Department an “opportunity to propose redaction,” something he granted last week, giving the government a deadline of Thursday, Aug. 25 at noon.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that by the deadline, the Government shall file under seal a submission addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal,” the motion states.
Major media outlets demanded the release of the probable cause affidavit behind the FBI’s raid of Trump’s Florida residence.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch also demanded the release of the affidavit.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement in response the Biden Justice Department’s opposition to Judicial Watch’s Motion to Unseal:
It seems like the Biden Justice Department is telling the court what to do. Respectfully, the court should make its own independent assessment of the compelling public interest in transparency about this abusive raid. The ‘criminal investigation’ the Biden administration is covering up reeks of corruption and dishonesty – and is based on a reinvention of law about presidential records that is at odds with the U.S. Constitution, court rulings, federal statutes, and prior government legal positions and practice. No administration should be able to raid the home of a former president and putative presidential candidate based on ‘secret’ reasons.
The U.S. Constitution and federal law give unreviewable authority to President Trump to take whatever records he wishes at the end of his presidency. The Biden administration’s dishonest depiction of personal records of President Trump it illicitly seized during the raid as “classified” is further demonstration that the raid was a brazen act of raw political abuse.
Government lawyers argued that keeping the affidavit under seal will ‘protect witnesses’ and ‘FBI agents’ involved.
According to investigative reporter Paul Sperry, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in an effort to seize documents that likely implicated the FBI in its Spygate operation which explains why the government is fiercely working to keep the affidavit sealed.
BREAKING NEWS: Reinhart formally rejects DOJ argument to keep Trump affidavit sealed, calls raid ‘unprecedented’ https://t.co/NVlEhbFuCv
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 22, 2022
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Author: Cristina Laila