Judge formally rejects Justice Department's plea to keep entire Trump raid affidavit sealed

Judge Reinhart ordered the Justice Department to deliver a redacted copy of the affidavit last week

Published: August 22, 2022 9:21am

Updated: August 22, 2022 9:45am

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Monday formally rejected the Justice Department's plea to keep sealed the entire affidavit used for the search warrant to raid former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

In a filing Monday morning, Reinhart, who originally approved the warrant, said he rejects "the government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire affidavit under seal," Fox News reported.

The decision was expected, considering Reinhart last week ordered the department to deliver a redacted copy of the affidavit.

Justice officials opposed unsealing the entire affidavit, or even a redacted one, arguing such a move would "provide a roadmap" of the investigation into whether Trump had classified White House documents on the estate and could "chill" other possible witnesses.

Reinhart on Monday said the affidavit needs to be at least partially released given the "intense public and historical interest" in the "unprecedented" FBI raid.

The department has until Thursday to propose redactions to the affidavit.

"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 Florida judge wrote in his motion.

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