The Department of Justice (DOJ) redacted its reasoning for redacting nearly the entire search warrant affidavit relating to the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
The DOJ released the highly redacted affidavit Friday after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the agency to submit redactions to the affidavits following his rejection of their push to keep the document private. Reinhart — who also signed off on the search warrant used in the FBI’s raid — approved the redactions Thursday.
So much for transparency. pic.twitter.com/BiZpMMqz2l
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) August 26, 2022
The DOJ, however, redacted its reasoning for the redactions while simultaneously attempting to justify the raid.
MORE: Here is “a chart identifying the
government’s proposed redactions as belonging to different categories of protected
information,” per the DOJ. But, as you can see, it’s really hard to say. https://t.co/nqiAZfIWym pic.twitter.com/XgaZOVFojX
— Chris “Subscribe to Law Dork!” Geidner (@chrisgeidner) August 26, 2022
The only justification not redacted is “agent safety,” while every other reason for the redactions is redacted.
The DOJ said the decision was made to protect the witnesses.
The affidavit was meant to shed light on the reasoning behind the Mar-a-Lago raid. Several news organizations such as CNN and The New York Times pushed for the release amid heightened public interest and scrutiny.
Trump filed a motion Monday requesting a “special master” be appointed to independently oversee the review of the items taken from Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s lawyers asked the federal judge to halt the DOJ’s search of “seized materials” until the “special master” is appointed in the filing. (RELATED: Ron Klain Says The Media Should Talk Less About Mar-A-Lago Raid)
Since the raid, Trump has accused the U.S. government of not providing him “with any reason for the unprecedented, general search of his home.” He also alleged the FBI took “privileged and/or potentially privileged materials,” and other articles “that were outside the lawful reach of an already overbroad warrant.”
Trust in the FBI has decreased after the unprecedented raid, with a Rasmussen poll published Aug. 18 finding 44% of likely U.S. voters said the raid made them trust the bureau less, compared to 29% who said they actually trust the FBI more. Republicans in particular have increasingly become weary of the FBI in past years, with a 2018 poll from PennState finding just 39% of Republicans trusted the FBI to do what is right “most of the time” or “just about always.”
The PennState poll also found 54% of Republicans felt the FBI was “biased against President Trump and his agenda.”