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US Justice Dept. files search warrant authorizing searches in Trump’s estate

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Aug 26, 2022 - 07:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The US Justice Department said on Thursday that it has filed a redacted version of the warrant affidavit used by the FBI to carry out searches in former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.

The agency had until noon Thursday to file the warrant. The spokesman Anthony Coley confirmed that the deadline was met.

“The United States has filed a submission under seal per the Court’s order of Aug. 22,” he said in a statement, according to multiple reports. “The Justice Department respectfully declines further comment as the Court considers the matter.”

The sealed document will be reviewed by US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart who will decide how much, if any, of the document will be made public.

Reinhart acknowledged Monday that redactions could be so extensive that they could render the wider document “meaningless,” but acknowledged the “intense public and historical interest” in the case, which Trump has derided as another “witch hunt” against him.

“Having carefully reviewed the affidavit before signing the warrant, I was — and am — satisfied that the facts sworn by the affiant are reliable,” Reinhart wrote in a 13-page order.

The affidavit lays out the justifications the FBI laid out before Reinhart granted the warrant that led to the Aug. 8 search.

The search of Trump’s Florida estate turned up 11 sets of classified materials the president kept from his time in office, in possible violation of federal law.

The search warrant that was unsealed on Aug. 12 indicates the FBI is investigating Trump for violations of three federal laws, including the gathering, losing, or transmitting of defense information; the concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of official records; and destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations.

The warrant authorized agents to seize any related property, including documents, communications, and “any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021.”

The property receipt said in addition to the classified materials that were taken, FBI agents retrieved documents that included Trump’s order granting clemency to political ally Roger Stone, a “leatherbound box of documents,” two binders of photos, and a potential presidential record.

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