A federal magistrate judge ordered that portions of the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit be unsealed by next Thursday (Pictures: Reuters/EPA)
A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to unseal parts of a probable cause affidavit used to search former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
‘On my initial careful review… there are portions of it that can be unsealed,’ said Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart from a Palm Beach courthouse on Thursday afternoon.
Reinhart said he would ‘give the government a full and fair opportunity’ to redact portions of the document, with a deadline of next Thursday.
The judge’s decision came after a top government attorney argued that releasing the document could jeopardize the investigation that remains in the ‘early stages’. Media outlets and Trump’s allies, meanwhile, have called for its release.
The ‘detailed and reasonably lengthy’ document needs to be kept confidential since it has ‘substantial grand jury’ information, said Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department counterintelligence and national security official.
Bratt said the case has ‘national security overtones’ and is ‘unique’.
Charles Tobin, an attorney for media organizations pushing for the unsealing, argued that the search warrant has great public interest. The search on August 8 was ‘one of the most significant law enforcement events in the nation’s history’, he said.
‘The time for everybody to get it right is now,’ Tobin said.
Trump’s lawyer Christina Bobb was in the courtroom but did not present arguments.
Awaiting the decision, Trump supporters gathered alongside national media members outside the Paul G Rogers Federal Building and US Courthouse.
The judge’s ruling came hours after former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in New York pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax and other financial fraud.
Breaking story, check back for updates…
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.