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US Department of Justice wants to keep the Trump warrant secret

US Department of Justice wants to keep the Trump warrant secret

  • The FBI searched Donald Trump’s Florida residence last week.
  • It was the first time a house of an ex-president had been searched during an investigation.
  • Several media outlets have requested that the search warrant be made public.

The US Department of Justice claims that disclosing information about the warrant used to search Donald Trump’s Florida residence last week might cause “irreparable damage” to its investigation.

It seeks to conceal the affidavit, a court document that lists the proof needed to get the warrant.

To determine whether Mr. Trump handled government records inappropriately after leaving office, FBI investigators investigated Mar-a-Lago.

It was the first time the house of an ex-president had been searched during an investigation.

The search warrant, which was made public on Friday, states that eleven sets of classified documents were discovered during the search of a Palm Beach residence one week ago.

Several media outlets have now requested that the affidavit be made public.

A move like that, however, would  “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation”, according to prosecutors who stated this on Monday.

They stated in a court document that “If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps”.

The affidavit must remain confidential because the investigation concerns “highly classified materials,” they added.

Mr. Trump claimed on Monday that the FBI grabbed three of his passports during the raid, a move that is typically only used if detectives believe a suspect poses a flight danger.

“This is an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our Country. Third World!”  Mr. Trump sent a message on his Truth Social social media page.

Later, a law enforcement source confirmed to CBS News, the BBC’s US partner, that investigators had taken Mr. Trump’s passports on August 8.

In an email from the justice department to Mr Trump’s team, an official said: “We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport” – and that they had been made available for pickup on Monday.

According to US media sources, the passports have already been given back.

Trump supporters have reacted angrily to the FBI search, with many calling for the affidavit to be made public.

“The justice department should show that this was not just a fishing expedition, that they had due cause to go in and to do this, that they did exhaust all other means.” said Republican Senator Mike Rounds to NBC on Sunday.

Republican congressman from Ohio Jim Jordan said Fox News that 14 FBI agents had come forward to him to report alleged political interference at the justice department.

Once prosecutors have established they have probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, a judge normally must approve search warrants.

In a highly uncommon action during a criminal investigation, the warrant used in the Trump raid was made public on Friday. Attorney General Merrick Garland claimed that this was due to “substantial public interest.”

Prosecutors added threats against the FBI to their list of justifications for obscuring the affidavit in their court filing on Monday.

“Information about witnesses is particularly sensitive given the high-profile nature of this matter and the risk that the revelation of witness identities would impact their willingness to co-operate with the investigation,” said the court filing.

In a document distributed to law enforcement agencies nationwide on Friday night, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security noted a “increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials.”

Also Read

Trump warrant: prosecutors resist revealing search evidence

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