Around noon Eastern on Friday, Judge Reinhart released the redacted affidavit he was presented in order to garner a search warrant for President Donald Trump’s personal home, Mar-a-Lago. The search warrant was signed on August 5, and the raid took place on August 8. The affidavit is 38 pages in total, but about 20 of those pages are redacted.
The search warrant reads, in part, “there is also probable cause to believe that the evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES.”
David Spunt and Andy McCarthy both reacted to the redacted affidavit on Fox News. Spunt commented that the document was “not as redacted as some expected.” He also pointed to the probable cause section, where the government detailed why they believed they needed to search and retrieve materials at Mar-a-Lago. The probable cause section details correspondence between the National Archives and the Trump legal team.
Spunt said that the website on which the redacted document was posted crashed for about forty minutes because of the demand of civilians attempting to read the document.
The affidavit says the investigation was begun after the National Archives referred the matter to the Justice Department. However, this was already public knowledge.
Several Republican lawmakers criticized the amount of redactions in the released affidavit. Representative Dan Bishop (R-NC) wrote on his social media “so much for transparency.”
It’s important for Americans to note that the affidavit reads, “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”
Both Spunt and Fox’s Martha McCallum said that there is mention of an observation that two moving trucks were at Mar-a-Lago on January 18, 2021, just three days before Donald Trump left office. However, Spunt noted that this is not unusual when the transition of presidents takes place.
The FBI said in the affidavit that they had probable cause to believe that there were National Defense records as well as other classified material at Mar-a-Lago.
Further reading shows that President Trump returned fifteen boxes to NARA in January 2022. It would be May 2022 before the National Archives would begin reviewing said boxes. They claim to have found fourteen of the fifteen boxes containing classified information. The affidavit says that of 184 unique classified documents, 67 were marked CONFIDENTIAL, 92 were marked SECRET, and 25 were distinguished as TOP SECRET.
Based on these findings, the FBI stated “probable cause” to believe that there were more classified documents at Mar-a-Lago as well as presidential records that bore certain “retention requirements.”
President Trump has said that he declassified records prior to leaving office.
Furthermore, even though the FBI investigators who visited Mar-a-Lago in June asked the former president to put an extra padlock on the storage area where said records were held – and Trump complied – the affidavit reads that the government was not certain were secured as they should be.
The affidavit also mentions a quote from Kash Patel, who worked in the Trump Administration. Patel was quoted in Breitbart as saying that the records at Mar-a-Lago had been declassified. However, the next eight sections of the affidavit are redacted.
Patel spoke to that portion of the affidavit, saying the “information that Trump felt spoke to matters regarding everything from Russiagate to the Ukraine impeachment fiasco” were among some of the information on the allegedly declassified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Patel added, “Anything (Trump) felt the American people had a right to know is in there and more.”
At least twenty boxes of documents were taken from Mar-a-Lago on August 8. President Trump reacted to the affidavit’s release, saying, “Nothing was mentioned about our working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH!”