Judge gives DOJ until Thursday to submit redacted Mar-a-Lago affidavit: report
Donald Trump (Photo of Trump via Agence France-Presse)

The Florida judge who signed off on the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago last week told the Justice Department it has until next Thursday to submit a redacted version of the affidavit used to justify the search warrant, Axios reports.

As Axios points out, the affidavit's release could shed new light on the details behind the investigation into whether former President Donald Trump took classified materials from the White House at the end of his term.

"The government shall file under seal ex parte its redactions and any briefing it would like to include," Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said, according to Axios.

Several US media outlets and Republican members of Congress have asked a Florida judge to release the affidavit behind the raid, which ignited a political firestorm in an already bitterly divided country.

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"The government will file its proposed redactions on Aug. 25. If the judge finds them satisfactory, he'll issue an order to move forward with the redactions. If he doesn't, he'll either hold another hearing with the government or issue his own proposed redactions," the Palm Beach Post explained.

The Justice Department noted in a filing with a US District Court that the search warrant and a receipt for items seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home during last week's raid have already been made public.

But it argued that the affidavit, which lays out the FBI’s argument for why the search warrant should be approved, presented a “very different set of considerations."

"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," the department said.

It said the government had "a compelling, overriding interest in preserving the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation," it said.

The affidavit, it added, contained "critically important and detailed investigative facts" as well as "highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government."

The Justice Department said that should the court order the release of the affidavit, the required redactions would "be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content."


With additional reporting by AFP