US justice department opposes Mar-a-Lago search affidavit disclosure
Washington, Aug 15 (EFE).- The United States Department of Justice on Monday asked a judge not to release the affidavit that gave the FBI probable cause to search the residence of former president Donald Trump, arguing that its publication could affect the course of the investigation.
In a 13-page filing addressed to the Florida judge handling the case, prosecutor Juan Antonio González requested that the document not be published because it could “alter the investigation’s trajectory, reveal ongoing and future investigative efforts, and undermine agents’ ability to collect evidence or obtain truthful testimony.”
US media outlets, including The Washington Post and CNN, had requested that the affidavit be unsealed.
After learning of the government’s opposition, Trump took to his Truth Social network to urge “the immediate release of the completely Unredacted Affidavit” in the interest of transparency.
Trump called the search of his Mar-a-Lago home a “break-in,” said there is no way to justify it and demanded the judge who ordered it be recused.
The judge on Friday had allowed the search warrant to be published as both parties agreed.
However, what the media requested was the affidavit with which the Department of Justice had justified the FBI’s search of Trump’s mansion.
“In addition to the implications for the investigation, the release of this type of investigative material could have ‘devastating consequences’ for the reputations and rights of individuals whose actions and statements are described,” the justice department said in the filing.
The search at Trump’s house last Monday was aimed at finding classified documents that the former president allegedly took from the White House when he left power in 2021.
The former Republican president is being investigated for crimes including violation of the Espionage Act, destruction or concealment of documents to obstruct a government investigation, and the unlawful removal of government documents from the White House.
Penalties upon conviction range from fines to prison terms and disqualification from holding political office.
Among the items seized were 21 boxes and documents labeled “Info re: President of France,” “secret,” “top secret,” and “confidential,” according to the search warrant document released last week. EFE