Judge orders Friday release of redacted Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit

Judge orders Friday release of redacted Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit
Image via David Badash/The New Civil Rights Movement.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Thursday ordered a release of a redacted version of the FBI affidavit that resulted in granting of a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice had warned that the redactions might need to be so prevalent that the resulting document would do little to inform the public.

“I find that the Government has met its burden of showing a compelling reason/good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit because disclosure would reveal (1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, (2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and (3) grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e),” the judge wrote.

“Based on my independent review of the Affidavit, I further find that the Government has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit,” Reinhart explained.

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The judge ordered the Department of Justice to release the redacted affidavit by noon Eastern time on Friday.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said, “It’s important to note that the judge adopted the redactions proposed by DOJ. A lot of information will remain redacted, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we learn new details about the extensive dialogue between the Executive Branch and the Trump Team *prior* to the warrant.”

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