A federal magistrate judge has said he would consider unsealing some of the “information in the probable-cause affidavit submitted by an FBI agent in support of the search warrant the Justice Department executed last week at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate,” reports National Review.
Judge Bruce W. Reinhart has given the government just one week in order to come up with a proposed redacted version. National Review notes “it is highly unusual for the unsealing initiative to have gotten even this far.”
“Ordinarily, search warrant affidavits are kept under seal unless and until criminal charges, to which the search are relevant, are filed” adds National Review. “Even then, such affidavits often do not become public until months later, when indicted defendants make motions to suppress evidence seized pursuant to the warrant.”
The Justice Department may have shot itself in the foot, after Attorney General Merrill Garland made a public statement about the search last week. “Perhaps because he realized this was a risky departure from Justice Department protocols, Garland said very little” adds National Review.
“But this just left him more vulnerable: He could no longer credibly claim to be adhering to the Justice Department practice of not commenting on pending investigations, yet he neither (a) responded to claims that former president Trump was making publicly, nor (b) addressed the matters the public was actually interested in.”