Washington opposes release of Mar-a-Lago warrant affidavit

Washington opposes disclosure of Mar-a-Lago warrant affidavit

Former US President Donald Trump had his Florida residence raided last week.

The Department of Justice on Monday rejected efforts to release the affidavit in support of the search warrant for the Florida property of former United States President Donald Trump, as he claims the investigation “involves highly classified material” and that the document contains sensitive cookie information.

The government's opposition came in response to court filings by several news outlets, including the Associated Press, that sought to unseal the underlying affidavit the Justice Department submitted when x27;he requested the search warrant for Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.

The court filing — from Juan Antonio Gonzalez, the U.S. attorney in Miami, and Jay Bratt, a senior Justice Department national security official — argues that making the affidavit public would cause harm. material and irreparable to this ongoing criminal investigation.

The document, according to prosecutors, details highly sensitive information about witnesses, including people who have been interviewed by the government, and contains confidential grand jury information.

The government told a federal judge that prosecutors believe that certain additional documents, including the warrant cover page and the government's request to seal the documents, should now be made public.

A property receipt unsealed on Friday showed the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, some of which were not only classified as top secret but also compartmentalized sensitive information, a special category intended to protect the country's most important secrets which, if disclosed publicly, could cause exceptionally serious damage to U.S. interests.

Court records did not provide specific details about information the documents may contain.

The Department of Justice acknowledged Monday that its ongoing criminal investigation involves highly classified material.

The search warrant, also unsealed on Friday, said federal agents were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs the collection, transmission or loss of defense information under the law. on espionage. Other statutes relate to the concealment, mutilation, or suppression of records, and the destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations.

Mar-a-Lago's search warrant, executed last Monday, was part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified White House documents recovered from Mr. Trump's home earlier. This year. The National Archives had asked the department to investigate after it said 15 boxes of documents recovered from the estate included classified documents.

It remains unclear whether the Justice Department requested the warrant simply as a way to retrieve the records or as part of a larger criminal investigation or attempt to prosecute the former president. . Several federal laws govern the handling of classified information, with criminal and civil penalties, as well as presidential records.

But the Justice Department, in its Monday filing, made argue that his investigation was active and ongoing and that disclosing further information could not only jeopardize the investigation but also subject witnesses to threats or deter others from coming forward to cooperate with prosecutors.

If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a road map for the government's ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is likely to jeopardize future steps of the investigation, the government wrote in the court filing.

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