- The Justice Department said it would return Donald Trump’s passports on Tuesday.
- The department objects to unsealing the affidavit justifying the search.
- Lawmakers are seeking answers about what was found in the search and what justified it.
WASHINGTON – Federal authorities have said they will return Donald Trump’s three passports on Tuesdayas the Justice Department faced increasing pressure to release more details and justifications for the unprecedented search of the estate of the former president in Florida.
The passport notification came Monday in an email made public by Trump officials. Jay Bratt, a senior official with the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in the email that officers determined the travel documents were unrelated to August 8 search for classified documents.
“We’re returning them, and they’ll be ready to be picked up from the (Washington field office) at 2 p.m. today,” Bratt wrote two expired passports and one active diplomatic passport.
The FBI said in a statement that when executing search warrants, the agency “follows court-ordered search and seizure procedures and then returns items that do not need to be retained at for law enforcement purposes”.
Mar-a-Lago search warrant:What Trump’s Residency Mandate Says
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Trump claimed passports were stolen
Trump claimed on Monday that the passports were stolen. “This is an attack on a political opponent on a level never seen before in our country,” he said in a post on Truth Social.
Christina Bobb, a lawyer for Trump, said the collection of passports showed there was overreach.
“There is no room for error” Bobb told “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News on Monday. “So I’m not giving them a pass because it was a simple mistake.”
The passport dispute came as questions about the search escalated. Congressional committees have demanded information about potential national security risks from Trump keeping “secret” and “top secret” files. House Republicans told the Justice Department to keep the documents on the search.
Here are the latest research updates:
FBI interviewed Trump’s top White House lawyers, report says
The FBI interviewed Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, who served as White House counsel and deputy White House counsel for former President Donald Trump, in its investigation of documents found at the former President’s Florida estate. , according the New York Times.
Two days before leaving the office, Trump nominated Cipollone and Philbin as representatives on matters related to his presidential records. There were five other appointees on that list, including then chief of staff Mark Meadows.
Philbin was interviewed in the spring, according to the Times.
– Erin Mansfield
What we know and don’t know about classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
In the week following the FBI’s raid of former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, new details have emerged on the unprecedented investigation into a former president.
Here’s what we’ve learned over the past week and what questions remain unanswered.
– Rick Rouan
Judge sets up hearing on whether to unseal Trump’s research affidavit
The Florida federal magistrate who approved the search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate has scheduled a hearing Thursday to weigh arguments on whether to unseal the government affidavit in support of the search.
The Justice Department opposed releasing the affidavit, saying it could harm its further investigation. But Trump called for the “immediate release” of the unredacted affidavit, in an article on Truth Social.
US Magistrate Bruce Reinhart has scheduled a hearing for 1 p.m. Thursday, when a consortium of media organizations are expected to argue for the release of the document.
Threats against the FBI and law enforcement after the search of Mar-a-Lago
Even before the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, supporters of the far-right ex-president, who had spent a year after the Jan. 6 insurgency in quietly simmering, began to multiply the threats.
But ever since Trump announced last week that the FBI had raided him, on the internet extremism experts have seen a peak of violent and hateful rhetoric directed at the federal government in general and the FBI in particular. Given the potentially limitless reach of internet experts, whose message can connect to even a single violence-prone person, they fear the possibility of attacks will only increase.
“We haven’t seen this level of real mobilization against potential violence since the mid-1990s,” said Javed Ali, associate professor of practice at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and former senior counter-terrorism official. at DHS. “It’s really disturbing, and I know firsthand from my FBI colleagues that they take this as seriously as they should be – it’s very upsetting for them.”
In the early to mid-1990s, violence and angry rhetoric were directed at the federal government following two tragic events: the failed raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, and a confrontation and shooting between federal agents and the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge. in Idaho. Both events, which still inspire domestic extremists today, helped fuel an anti-government movement that culminated in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 – l deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in United States history.
Mar-a-Lago’s search and corresponding investigation into Trump are considered to be of similar scope, experts said.
– Will Carless, Ella Lee
DOJ opposes release of affidavit justifying search
Despite the search warrant being issued on Friday, the The Justice Department on Monday objected to the release of the affidavit that explained to a judge probable cause that a crime has been committed, to justify the search.
News organizations had filed a motion in federal court to release the affidavit, which would shed new light on the department’s investigation into Trump’s alleged removal of classified White House documents.
But the department said unsealing the affidavit would “irreparably harm the government’s ongoing criminal investigation.” Disclosure of the information would be “highly likely to jeopardize future steps in the investigation” and could “chill future cooperation of witnesses” in this investigation and others in the future, the department argued.
Trump called in a message on Truth Socal on Monday for the “immediate release” of the affidavit, but his attorneys have not formally responded to the filing.
US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has yet to rule on the release.
Congress calls for research information
Two congressional panels — the House Intelligence and Oversight and Reform committees — have asked a briefing from the Director of National Security on potential risks from documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.
Intelligence panel chief Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said the documents could cause “extremely serious harm to national security” if released.
Republican lawmakers want to know more about what prompted the research.
Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor, said the unprecedented search required unprecedented justification. Sen. Mike Rounds, RS.D., said the Justice Department needed to lay out its case to “show it wasn’t just a fishing expedition.”