On the other hand, several media outlets, including The Washington Post, argued in court filings that the affidavit should be made public given the “historical significance of these events.”
Trump has denounced the investigation as politically motivated, saying on social media this week that he believes the document should be sealed without redactions “in the interest of transparency.”
However, his lawyers have not submitted any formal plea to the court declaring such a position. Trump attorney Christina Popp appeared in court Thursday and said she was present to observe the proceedings.
Jay Pratt, head of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Division, is arguing the government’s case against lawyers representing the news media. Pratt has been closely involved in the investigation, having visited Mar-a-Lago in June to inspect Trump’s stockpiles. The Counterintelligence and Expert Control Unit leads investigations into leaks of government secrets.
Former Justice Department officials who have followed the case closely have said the affidavit is unlikely to contain “good” information for the former president, and as The Post reported earlier this week, Trump’s advisers have not reached a consensus on whether to release it. For his best interest.
Law enforcement officials submit such documents to a judge as part of an application for a search warrant. Affidavits usually contain information about why the authorities believe there is evidence at a particular property and other details about their investigation.
It has become the latest flashpoint in an ongoing criminal investigation by federal officials stemming from Trump’s dispute with the National Archives over materials taken from the White House when his term ended last year.
Last weekend, federal magistrate judge Bruce E. Reinhardt — with the Justice Department’s approval — removed the seal. Search warrant and inventory Including detailed descriptions of classified items, federal agents say they were recovered from the former president’s club and residence in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago.
Legal experts said the Justice Department’s refusal to release the document was consistent with how the agency typically conducts investigations, and that it was highly unusual for a judge to release the documents in full in the middle of an ongoing investigation.
Those who have spoken with Trump in recent days say the former president believes any information made public about the investigation into his handling of classified matters will appeal to his supporters and ultimately benefit him politically.
But others in Trump’s orbit fear such a move could backfire because they don’t know exactly what it entails.
“Total coffee maven. Extreme web geek. Award-winning explorer. Travel aficionado.”