Judicial Watch asks judge to block DOJ bid to keep warrant affidavit sealed

Judicial Watch then issued its reply, saying "[t]he public interest in the contents of the affidavit cannot be understated"

Updated: August 17, 2022 - 6:55pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Judicial Watch on Wednesday filed its counterargument to the DOJ's request that a judge keep sealed the warrant affidavit from the FBI's raid on former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.

The non-profit watchdog group filed a motion earlier this month asking that Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who issued the warrant, unseal it and the related documents. Reinhart ordered the DOJ to respond to the motion, which it did, asking that he keep the affidavit sealed, arguing that its release would undercut the ongoing investigation.

Judicial Watch then issued its reply, saying "[t]he public interest in the contents of the affidavit cannot be understated."

"The secrecy surrounding the search warrant, and the affidavit that led to its issuance, has caused the nation to convulse with intrigue and harmful speculation that will only increase the longer the truth is kept from the public," the group continued. "The heat must be replaced with light, and soon. Maintaining the seal will only fuel more speculation, uncertainty, leaks, and political intrigue and it will also serve to undermine public confidence in the fair administration of justice and equal protection of the law."

"Considering the gravity of this unprecedented action by the government, at a minimum, the Court should review the affidavit line-by-line to determine what information may be disclosed and what information may be redacted to balance the competing concerns at issue," it went on.

In the filing, Judicial Watch further highlighted that former President Donald Trump himself has called for the release of the affidavit and its related documents.

"There is no way to justify the unannounced RAID of Mar-a-Lago, the home of the 45th President of the United States ...  by a very large number of gun toting FBI Agents, and the Department of 'Justice' but, in the interest of TRANSPARENCY, I call for the immediate release of the completely Unredacted Affidavit pertaining to this horrible and shocking BREAK-IN," Trump posted Monday on Truth Social.

Reinhart declined to render an immediate judgment on the affidavit's release on Tuesday, instead scheduling a hearing for Thursday in which both sides will present in-person arguments.

Just the News Spotlight