Media want Trump affidavit unsealed

The media companies argue that releasing the affidavit would help the public determine whether the Justice Department had legitimate reasons for the search.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Lawyers for many of the nation’s biggest media companies will try to persuade a federal judge on Thursday afternoon to release the affidavit in support of the warrant that allowed FBI agents to search former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida last week.

The Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, TV networks, CNN and others want U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart to release the affidavit despite the U.S. Department’s objection Justice, who says his investigation into Trump’s handling of “highly classified material” would be compromised.

The media companies say releasing the affidavit would help the public determine whether the Justice Department had legitimate reasons for the search or whether it was part of a Biden administration vendetta against Trump, as alleged. the former president and his supporters. Trump, in an article on Truth Social last week, called for the release of the unredacted affidavit in the interest of transparency.

“The matter is of extreme public interest, involving the actions of current and former government officials,” wrote attorney Carol Jean LoCiero, who represents the Times and others. “President Trump denounced the search as an ‘aggression that could only take place in third world countries’, claimed agents ‘even broke into my safe’, and otherwise challenged the validity of the search.”

Lawyers for the Justice Department argued in a court filing that its investigation into Trump’s handling of “highly classified material” was ongoing and that the document contained sensitive witness information.

The filing by Juan Antonio Gonzalez, the U.S. attorney in Miami, and Jay Bratt, a senior Justice Department national security official, says releasing the affidavit “would cause significant and irreparable damage to this criminal investigation.” In progress”.

“If released, the affidavit would serve as a road map for the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a way that is highly likely to jeopardize future steps in the investigation. ‘investigation,’ they wrote.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Trump’s lawyers had not indicated on the court docket that they planned to participate in the hearing.

FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 8, removing 11 sets of classified documents, some not only marked top secret but also “compartmentalized sensitive information,” according to a receipt from what was reported. been taken which was released on Friday. This is a special category intended to protect the nation’s most important secrets which, if publicly disclosed, could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests. Court records did not provide a specific details about what information the documents might contain.

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