The Department of Justice said Monday in a court filing that it opposes making public the affidavit it used to obtain a warrant to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, saying its release could “harm the government’s ongoing criminal investigation.”
In the filing which was made in response to requests from media outlets to unseal the affidavit, the DOJ asked the judge to keep the document sealed.
“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 filing states. “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 cooperate with the investigation.”
An affidavit is a document presented to a judge as part of a request for a search warrant. The affidavit usually explains why law enforcement officials believe that there is evidence of a crime at a specific location. It also often includes other information about the investigation and sometimes includes names of witnesses.
The search warrant concerning Trump’s home was carried out last week as part of an ongoing DOJ investigation into the discovery of classified White House records recovered from the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, earlier this year, according to the filing.
It went on to say that DOJ prosecutors interviewed witnesses in connection with the investigation of the material found by the FBI.
Instead of unsealing the affidavit, the DOJ is asking the court to unseal a redacted document that includes a cover sheet, the DOJ’s motion to seal the warrant on Aug. 5 and the judge’s sealing order issued the same day.
Trump posted his support for the release of the original affidavit on social media.
“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,” the business mogul continued. “Also, the Judge on this case should recuse!”
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