(PresidentialInsider.com)- U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart rejected the Department of Justice’s argument to keep the Mar-a-Lago search warrant hidden from the public, saying that the burden of proof to show why it must be kept sealed falls on the government, the Daily Caller reported.
Reinhart stated that the government can keep the search warrant affidavit sealed if “there is a compelling governmental interest and the denial of access is ‘narrowly tailored to serve that interest.’”
The DOJ is arguing that unsealing the affidavit “would jeopardize the integrity of its ongoing criminal investigation,” which the judge acknowledges as he is weighing that potential. He also argues, however, that unsealing the document would allow the public to understand “historically significant events,” adding that “this factor weighs in favor of disclosure.”
The judge ultimately ruled against keeping the document sealed, calling the matter unprecedented.
“Given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing,” he said, giving the DOJ until August 25 to request redactions.
The FBI followed through on a raid earlier this month at the behest and approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland who sought the authorization from Reinhart. The former president was allegedly in possession of classified documents that he had given back to the National Archives earlier this year. Despite being in communication with the department over documents he may have had, an anonymous informant allegedly communicated to the FBI that Trump had other documents in his possession at his estate in Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in the raid.
The documents taken by the FBI were reportedly going to be released by the former president according to former Former Department of Defense chief of staff Kash Patel was speaking to Newsmax earlier this week. Trump alleged that the documents contained no threat to national security, but exposed the Russiagate scandal. He was going to release the documents which included “everything related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation along with other things,” adding that they showed FBI and DOJ corruption.