DOJ releases redacted affidavit of Mar-a-Lago search warrant

Pages of the FBI affidavit in support of obtaining a search warrant for former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate are pictured showing large portions redacted.
Pages of the FBI affidavit in support of obtaining a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate are pictured showing large portions redacted. (Jon Elswick/AP)

The output of a redacted affidavit that the Justice Department used to obtain a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home has shed new light on the federal investigation into the handling of his White House documents.

The court file unsealed Friday went into previously unknown details about classified information found in boxes recovered from Trump’s Florida resort in January. He also clarified certain aspects of the chronology of the conduct of the investigation.

The record shows, among other things, that the documents that may have been illegally mishandled at Mar-a-Lago contained some of the United States’ most sensitive secrets.

Here is some Key points to remember from the recently published document:

The FBI said there was likely ‘obstruction evidence’ and classified defense documents

The FBI told US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart the search would likely find ‘evidence of obstruction’ in addition to its explanation in court that there were ‘probable reasons to believe’ classified national security documents had been inappropriately taken to “unauthorized” places in Trump’s home. seaside resort.

The FBI found 184 classified documents in 15 boxes earlier this year

In May, when the FBI examined the 15 boxes the National Archives recovered from the Florida resort town in January, it found “184 unique records bearing a classification mark,” the affidavit states.

Among the documents were “67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET,” according to the filing.

New details on how the DOJ got involved in the smash document in the first place

The FBI investigation began after a criminal referral to the National Archives, dated Feb. 9, in which the Archives said the boxes contained “a lot of classified material.”

The Archives official said there was “significant concern” that “highly classified documents were… mixed in with other documents” and not being properly identified.

Redactions keep evidence of obstruction secret for now

The third potential crime – obstruction – which was cited by the warrant documents does not have a corresponding unredacted subheading in the affidavit. The FBI should have provided the court with its explanation of why it believed there was likely evidence of this crime at Mar-a-Lago, so the absence of unredacted details of this evidence indicates that this Part of the department is particularly sensitive about this aspect of its investigation being made public.

DOJ keeps details of personnel involved close to chest

The department said in its legal filing justifying the memos that FBI personnel who had previously been identified as involved in the investigation received “threats of violence from members of the public.”

The FBI told the judge that “[m]minor but significant redactions” in the affidavit were necessary to “protect the safety of law enforcement personnel.”

CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.

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