A week after the unprecedented raid on the personal home of a former president, America is still reeling. The division in the country appears to be deepening, although there are those in both political parties who have reservations about the Mar-a-Lago search. Many are calling for the Department of Justice to unseal and publish the affidavit utilized to garner the search warrant for the August 8 raid on Trump’s home.
President Trump himself is asking that a completely unredacted affidavit be released for public view.
On Truth Social, President Donald Trump posted: “There is no way to justify the unannounced RAID of Mar-a-Lago. . . But in the interest of TRANSPARENCY, I call for the immediate release of the completely unredacted affidavit . . .”
On Monday, however, the Department of Justice filed a motion to block the release of said affidavit, at least in a completely unredacted form. The filing read: “(The Justice Department) respectfully requests an opportunity to provide the Court with proposed reactions.”
At the same time, the Justice Department said it did not oppose the release of “any other documents related to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.” The DOJ did say that it would be supporting of releasing the warrant’s cover sheets.
However, President Trump isn’t the only individual to call for the Justice Department to publicly produce the affidavit. ABC and other news media outlets called for the release of the affidavit, as well as a wealth of legal scholars, including Jonathan Turley.
The filing by the DOJ read: “There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed.”
ABC News is reporting that the DOJ also addressed the issue of releasing the affidavit with redactions, to which the DOJ said it was unopposed. Department officials creating the filing wrote that releasing the affidavit with the redactions they deem necessary would “render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content.” They added that releasing a redacted affidavit would “not serve any public interest.”
If the Florida magistrate does grant the release of the affidavit, however, the DOJ asked that they be able to “provide the Court with proposed redactions.”
ABC News is reporting that the filing addresses releasing an unsealed and totally unredacted affidavit, saying that the affidavit “serves as a roadmap for the . . . investigation.”
The DOJ ended the filing with saying that the future investigative efforts of the feds might be compromised with the release of an unredacted affidavit.
Justice Department officials particularly want to keep the names of any witnesses in the investigation private, citing the possibility that witnesses may no longer cooperate with the federal investigating entity in the event their names were released to the public.
Representative Mike Turner (R-OH) says that at least his committee (the House Intelligence Committee) should be able to view the affidavit in the name of transparency. Turner added that there has been a bipartisan call for the affidavit to be revealed, and there has also been a call for the House Intel committee to review the documents, even in a private session.
Congressman Turner also pointed out that the DOJ has not said that they did not brief the White House on the raid, only that the Biden Administration had made these claims. Overall, these issues are causing the American people to question the circumstances around the Trump raid last week.
Fox News is reporting that a decision on whether to unseal any portion of the affidavit is likely to be made by Thursday of this week.
The Justice Department released documents late last week that infer the Mar-a-Lago raid was part of an investigation into how President Trump handled possibly sensitive documents; however, the documents do not specify exactly what documents are at issue.
This is led to suppositions of the information in the documents, particularly documents including nuclear weapons information.
The rumors flying out of DC are pouring copious amounts of gasoline on a fire that only serves to further divide Americans. Making public the affidavit – while redacting names in order to protect individuals considering the vitriol in the country at the moment – would help to stamp out that fire before it consumes everything in its path.