DOJ releases heavily redacted affidavit justifying Mar-a-Lago raid

On Friday, The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a heavily redacted copy of the affidavit which outlined their scope for former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-A-Lago.

The FBI stated that they had a reason to believe that classified records containing sensitive national defense date were located at Palm Beach, Florida, residence, according to one of the FBI agents involved in writing the 32-page affidavit.

“There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found” at Trump’s home, an unredacted portion of the affidavit said. After the raid, The FBI removed 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, 11 of which were said to be labeled “top secret.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart who approved the FBI raid of Trump’s residence, also ordered for the affidavit to be unsealed. Reinhard gave the FBI a hard deadline of 12pm on Friday 26th August to do this.

In a footnote, the affidavit confirms that the law doesn’t only ban the transfer of classified information, but also “the unlawful retention of information related to the national defense.”

Trump’s attorney John Solomon said that all documents were de-classified before Trump brought them to his residence, although the affidavit footnote hints that Trump having possession of the documents would still be illegal.

“As we can all relate to, everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time. American presidents are no different,” Solomon read in a prepared statement made to Fox News. “President Trump in order to prepare the work the next day often took documents including classified documents to the residence. He had a standing order that documents removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them.”

The Department of Justice had previously argued against releasing the affidavit at all.

“The redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content,” read a court filing from Jay Bratt, head of the counterintelligence and export control section of the DOJ’s National Security Division.

Bratt also argued that the affidavit “would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation” if disclosed.

Donald Trump Jr. shared the redacted version on his Twitter page, first hitting out at the DOJ and then mocking them. “They tell you with a straight face that they want ‘transparency’ knowing that their media lackeys will run with it as though it’s a fact. Then they release this. Transparency my ass!!!” he tweeted.

He also went on to share the image of the affidavit again and tweeted: “Well, this really clears things up.”




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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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