The 38-page affidavit proffered to the Florida court that is the underlying justification for the DOJ’s request for a search warrant that resulted in the Aug. 8 FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida property has been released.
The affidavit is nearly half-blacked-out with 21 pages redacted in part or full. It does not name potential subjects, agents, witnesses, human intelligence sources or spy names. It raises national security and obstruction of justice concerns, but does not reveal why the urgency for the raid although it clearly delineates that there was a level of co-operation between the National Archives and Trump’s lawyers earlier. The breakdown between the two sides is not fully understood, but may be buried behind the unreacted portion of the affidavit.
What is revealed are concerns the documents were not secured to the standards required to protect the documents at Mar-A-Lago.
In January 2022, 15 boxes were transferred to the National Archives. Found among those boxes were 184 documents, which were 67 documents marked confident, 92 were secret, and 25 were marked top secret.
The affidavit raised the possibility that there was probable cause to believe evidence of obstruction of justice would be found on the premises.
“The FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials contained in the FIFTEEN BOXES and were stored at the PREMISES in an unauthorized location,”the affidavit said.
The affidavit does not include the agency’s methods of investigation, but suggest several sources and human intelligence and signal intelligence, meaning, electronic devices. There are redacted witness statements.
Kash Patel is mentioned on page 19, referring to a May 5, 2022 Breitbart’s story in which Patel is cited that Trump had the right to hold classified.
Patel worked for House Intelligence, in the Director of National Intelligence office, at the Department of Defense and now, works for Truth Social.
The affidavit did not offer any specific grand jury information although one source told CMedia that “a lot of lawyers have been brought before the grand jury recently.”
There were “SI” references, meaning “signal intelligence.” That is electronic devices. It also cited “significant” number of civilian witnesses.
Judge Reinhart had ordered the DOJ to made public in a redacted version by noon on Friday due to increased public interest.
On Thursday, Reinhart stated in his order the lawyers for the government had made compelling arguments to leave sealed a large portion of the document,” because if disclosed, that information “would reveal grand jury information; the identities of witnesses and “uncharged parties”; and details about the investigation’s “strategy, direction, scope, sources and methods.”
The judge said he was satisfied “that the Government has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit.”
Documents already released show that federal agents are investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The other statutes address the concealment, mutilation or removal of records and the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.
On Truth Social on Friday, former President Trump posted, “The political Hacks and Thugs had no right under the Presidential Records Act to storm Mar-a-Lago and steal everything in sight, including Passports and privileged documents. They even broke into my safe with a safecracker – Can you believe? This Act was created for a very good reason, and it works. We are right now living in a Lawless Country, that just so happens to be, also, a Failing Nation!”
“President Trump on January 19, the day before he left office, signed a declassification memo in the Justice Department, and the intel community, and the National Archives have dragged their feet. They don’t want to make these records public, and I think that’s what is driving this home raid,” said Mike Davis to Laura Ingraham on FOZ. Davis is the Founder of Article III Project and served a law clerk to Justice Gorsuch.