Judge sees value in publishing FBI’s reasons for search of Donald Trump’s residence
The federal judge who decides whether to disclose the reasons why the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump, is interested in publishing them but has not yet decided to do so.
In a document published Monday, Judge Bruce Reinhart detailed that he will wait for the text he ordered the prosecution to deliver before next Thursday hiding the most sensitive data that could affect the investigation.
Reinhart, who in last Thursday’s hearing in West Palm Beach was inclined to publish the affidavit with sensitive parts hidden, said Monday that he will analyze the fact because it could result in the text being “meaningless” for the media that have requested its disclosure.
The affidavit describes the evidence on which the Justice Department relied to justify the search of the former president’s house on August 8.
The judge indicated in that regard that he can agree with prosecutors that any strikeout from the original document would be so extensive as to render the document useless.
“I cannot say at this time that partial strikeouts will be so extensive as to result in a meaningless disclosure, but I can finally come to that conclusion after hearing more from the Government,” Reinhart wrote.
He added that the Government has demonstrated “good cause/compelling interest that overrides any public interest in opening the full contents of the affidavit.”
In today’s 13-page document, the judge further asserts that he “carefully” reviewed the “affidavit” before signing the search warrant that authorized the FBI to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
He further stresses that he was “confident” of the facts contained in the affidavit and that he “was and is” satisfied with his decision.
The disclosed search warrant evidenced that Trump took classified material from the White House to his residence. The warrant also noted the crimes he may be committing: violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and destruction of documents.