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DOJ Opposes Release of Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant Affidavit

The Justice Department will to unseal more documents connected to the FBI search at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate but is urging a federal court to maintain the secrecy of the sworn affidavit describing the basis for the search. DOJ is concerned that the release of details from the affidavit might harm ongoing efforts to interview witnesses, given the threats to federal agents after the Mar-a-Lago search, Politico reports. “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,” said U.S. Attorney Juan Gonzalez and DOJ counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt.


DOJ is urging the court to unseal a redacted document with filings related to the search warrant, including a cover sheet, DOJ’s motion to seal the warrant and the judge’s sealing order. Among DOJ’s concerns about releasing the underlying information is that witnesses might stop cooperating, particularly “given the high-profile nature of this matter.” Last week’s release of the search warrant listed potential crimes related to the mishandling of classified materials and presidential records, as well as obstruction of justice. Revealing the affidavit, DOJ said Monday, would jeopardize that probe.

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