Judge Orders Justice Dept. To Propose Redacted Version of Affidavit Used to Search Mar a Lago

Judge Bruce Reinhart

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge ordered the government on Thursday to propose redactions to the highly sensitive affidavit that was used to justify a search warrant executed by the F.B.I. last week at former President Donald J. Trump’s private home and club, saying he was inclined to unseal parts of it.

Ruling from the bench, the judge, Bruce E. Reinhart, said it was “very important” that the public have as “much information” as it can about the historic search at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida residence, noting that there were portions of the affidavit that “could be presumptively unsealed.”

“Whether those portions would be meaningful for the public or the media,” Judge Reinhart added, was not for him to decide. He acknowledged that the redaction process can often be extensive and effectively turn documents into “meaningless gibberish.”

NY Times

On Thursday, Reinhart, who signed the original search warrant, heard arguments from several media organisations asking him to unseal the documents in the public interest. Trump himself is not a party to the proceedings but has said he supports disclosure and has threatened to release his own CCTV images of FBI agents conducting the search.

“I’m not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed,” Reinhart said, adding that he believed there were “portions” that could be released.

Reinhart asked the justice department to provide him a redacted version within seven days.

The Guardian


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