FBI affidavit in support of obtaining a search warrant for former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate DOJ releases redacted affidavit prompting Mar-a-Lago search
Affidavits released Friday with cuts form the basis of Donald Trump's residence search
The Justice Department released on Friday an edited version of an affidavit – an affidavit – that was used by the department to obtain judicial authorization to search former President Donald Trump's Florida residence. The release of the banknote document could shed light on the evidence that prompted the unprecedented search.
Significant portions of 23 pages of the 38-page document, released Friday, were blacked out, and text on 11 pages was completely censored.
According to the document released Friday, an unknown FBI agent said that the US National Archives discovered in January at the Trump residence, “secret documents” containing “national defense information.”
The agent said the Justice Department has reason to believe that such records, which were not returned to the government, are still being held in Trump's house.
“There is also likely reason to believe that evidence of obstruction [of justice] will be found at the premises,” the agent added.
Judge Bruce Reinhart, who issued the warrant that led to the FBI raiding the Trump residence in Mar-a -Lago on August 8, ordered redacted affidavits to be made public by Friday noon.
The Palm Beach search marked a significant escalation in one of the many federal and state investigations underway into Trump. The former Republican president has already signaled that he may run again in the next election in 2024.
The FBI action was taken as part of a federal investigation into the legality of Trump, who took several boxes of documents from the White House with him in January 2021.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation into the improper deletion and storage of classified information in unauthorized locations, and the illegal concealment or removal of government documents,” begins a 38-page sworn statement by a man whose name was withheld by the Justice Department before publication.< /p>
The FBI seized more than 20 boxes of classified government documents, some of which were classified as top secret.
An affidavit, a document that is usually not made public unless someone is charged of a crime, is a sworn statement outlining the evidence that gave the DOJ probable grounds for requesting a search warrant.
Prosecutors were initially reluctant to release the document, even with cuts, in order to protect the secrecy of the ongoing investigation, prompting a number media to file legal action to release the affidavit.
Judge Reinhart on Thursday said that the Department of Justice has good reasons to keep certain documents under wraps, emphasizing the need to protect the confidentiality of witnesses and federal agents, as well as government investigations and grand jury files.