- BBC News World
The Justice Department on Friday released a revised version of the document that allowed the FBI to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home earlier this month.
It’s a 38-page affidavit that provides, among other things, details about classified documents allegedly taken from Trump from the White House that the former president returned to the National Archives earlier this year.
The FBI indicated to the judge in the transcript that it thought it was likely to be found ‘Evidence of obstruction’ of justice by Trump In the record of his Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach.
He said there was “probable reason to believe” that classified national security documents were moved to “unauthorized” locations on Trump’s private property.
The Department of Justice only disclosed some parts of the text and withheld other parts for reasons of confidentiality — for example, to maintain the anonymity of witnesses — that might contain important details about the investigation.
What is known
Since the search for Trump’s home, many voices have requested the release of the document that led to the FBI’s action. This was the development of the main facts:
- After the judge’s approval August 5The FBI ran the operation at the Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach that day 8.
- The Justice Department described his work as a criminal investigation into the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized locations.
- The 38-page document says there is “probable cause” to believe that “evidence, contraband, proceeds of crime or other unlawfully acquired items” will be found at Trump’s home in violation of federal law.
- The affidavit says 14 of the 15 boxes delivered to the National Archives earlier this year — which Trump took from the White House at the end of his presidency — contained classified information. he thinks that 25 documents in those boxes contained information marked “top secret.”.
- The document says there is sufficient evidence to believe there are more classified documents at the facility. [Mar-a-Lago] And that it was also stored in an unsafe place.
- Clients took several boxes with government documents, some of them secret.
- The search warrant, issued on August 13, revealed that the US attorney general is investigating the former president Alleged obstruction of justice, a potential violation of the Espionage and Criminal Handling of Government Documents Act.
- Investigators requested that many parts of the document be redacted, or withheld, to preserve the integrity of the ongoing process and to protect certain witnesses and participants.
- Trump denies wrongdoing and has accused the judge who approved the search warrant of allowing a “burglary” to be committed at his home, insisting he was cooperating with investigations into the documents in his possession.
An unusual situation An unusual situation
Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America correspondent
For the first time, the public had access to the affidavit. At least parts of it, not the most succulent.
As expected, the document was significantly revised by the US Department of Justice with the approval of Judge Reinhart.
The Department of Justice described their work as a “criminal investigation into the improper removal and storage of confidential information in unauthorized locations, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”
In addition, he provided details about the Mar-a-Lago material that had already been delivered to the National Archives. Those boxes contained a random selection of newspaper and magazine clippings and photos, but also 184 classified documents, including 25 marked “top secret.”
The affidavit indicated that there was reasonable evidence to believe that there were more confidential documents on the premises and that they were also stored in an unsafe location.
This is of particular concern to the government, as foreign nationals gain access to Mar-a-Lago.
The document deleted information about the federal agents involved in the case and government witnesses who, if their identities were revealed, could face “retaliation, intimidation, or harassment, and even threats to their physical safety,” according to the Justice Department.
He said that disclosing their identities could restrict others from sharing information relevant to the investigation.
It has been reformulated to avoid providing a “road map for anyone trying to obstruct the investigation,” according to the government.
The declassification of an affidavit like this, at least in part, is unusual.
But this is not a common case. Now the Justice Department’s investigators will return to work behind closed doors. The public may not know more until criminal charges are brought in the case, if any.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre declined to comment on the document, but President Joe Biden spoke to reporters who asked if Trump had the authority to declassify the documents.
He replied sarcastically, criticizing the former president: “Everything in the world has been declassified! I’m a boss, I can do everything!”
He later said he would not comment on what was revealed on Friday.
“I don’t know the details, and I don’t even want to know,” Biden said. “Let the Department of Justice deal with it”.
The president made it clear that confidential documents could be taken home “according to the circumstances” and that he kept them in a safe place.
“Today I’m bringing home the PDB (Presidential Daily Brief). It’s insured. I have someone with me, a military man with me. I read it, I secured it again, and I give it to the military,” he explained.
For his part, Trump insisted his total disapproval of the way the Department of Justice and the FBI acted, and criticized the fact that the document had been edited.
On his Truth Social platform, the former president wrote: “Heavily redacted statement!!! It didn’t mention ‘nuclear’, a complete FBI and Justice Department stunt, or our cooperation in handing over documents, we’ve done a lot.”
He added that Judge Bruce Reinhart “I shouldn’t have allowed my house to be raided.”
He added, “He stepped down two months ago from one of my cases due to his enmity and hatred for his favorite boss, me.”
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