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Mar-a-Lago Raid: Redacted Search Warrant Affidavit Unsealed

Mar-a-Lago Raid: Redacted Search Warrant Affidavit Unsealed

Key parts heavily redacted

The redacted Affidavit used to obtain the search warrant to raid Mar-a-Lago has been released. You can read it here.

Mar-a-Lago Raid Case – Redacted Affidavit In Support of Search Warrant

Mar-a-Lago Raid Case – Notice of Filing Redacted Affidavit and Ex Parte Memorandum

Mar-a-Lago Raid Case – Unsealed Redacted Memorandum As To Sealing Affidavit 8-26-2022


Not a lot of new details that weren’t already leaked.


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So…documents, marked “Classified”, but unclassified by the plenary power of the President, can be used to justify a raid on the political opposition.

I fear for the republic.

    It’s worst. Read the letter from Silverman-Thompson in the unredacted section that spells out the President’s unrestricted ability to declassify. It looks like NARA had a hissy fit over declassified documents that still had classification marks, whined about it to the FBI, which gave them an excuse to go in and vacuum up anything they wanted.

    Interesting that there *is* a Privilege Review Team listed in the doc, but I suspect the FBI agents reviewing the FBI seized documents will err on the side of the FBI, as they have in all other cases.

      jhkrischel in reply to georgfelis. | August 26, 2022 at 1:06 pm

      Yeah. “We don’t have a crime yet, but we’re looking for one, so if you let us grab all of these things, we might find one, maybe, if we squint really hard.”

      My bet is that if you raided the house of *any* FBI agent, you could find some document, or receipt, or photo, or something, that would fall afoul of the statutes cited.

      When the pendulum swings the other way, it’s gonna leave a mark.

        Olinser in reply to jhkrischel. | August 26, 2022 at 2:22 pm

        The entire reason we are IN this situation is because the pendulum IS NOT swinging, and they know it.

        Bitch McConnell could barely bring himself to issue an incredibly weak statement days later.

        Even IF the Republicans take back Congress, they know decrepit relic RINOs like Grassley or talk show tough guys like Graham are never going to do a single thing to them. Not ONE SINGLE SUBPOENA issued over blatant abuse of the FISA court and lying under oath.

        And even if they actually believed that the RINOs were going to actually put them under oath and recommend charges? The FBI would just refuse to arrest themselves and the DoJ would refuse to prosecute anyway.

        We got in this situation after YEARS of surrender by ‘conservatives’ in the face of ever more blatant corruption, and now they have absolutely no fear.

          JHogan in reply to Olinser. | August 26, 2022 at 10:25 pm

          Spot on.

          The GOPe/RINOs will block any effort to do anything substantive about any of the DOJ/FBI blatant abuses of power and targeting of Trump and his supporters.

          Because they hate and fear Trump and have convinced themselves the ends justifies the means.

          The only thing that will get their attention is fear the future abuses of power might target them. To date I have see no evidence they fear that.

          The rhetoric coming from the GOPe/RINOs to date over Russiagate and past FBI abuses of power, corruption, and political partisanship has been empty. For instance… Has Graham ‘gotten to the bottom’ of Russiagate yet, as he years ago repeatedly promised he would do?

    Gapper in reply to jhkrischel. | August 26, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    There is something seriously wrong with all of this. In order to acquire possession of classified material in the beginning, the material would have been released to POTUS is the White House and records would attest to this location for each document. At the end of his term, the National Archives would have a duty to recover all documents formally and records would be required to demonstrate this action was satisfied. All anomalies would and should have been identified and resolved prior to 1/21/21. If Trump was provided with a formal list of anomalies, all discrepancies would require closure or he would have to claim executive priveledge. Trump likely did this but may not have followed process prescriptively. I seriously doubt Trump made a claim at this point that he was taking classified information and he knew that would be a crime. There are organizations in the government that failed to perform their function if classified material was moved to Mar-a-Logo. This is hard to believe. The more likely scenario is that the National Archives never refuted what Trump was taking even though there were anomalies. For this to occur, they would have been the key perpetrators of improper control of classified material, not Trump. I am sure the real facts will never come forth. We are in precarious times where the leaders are drunk on power and will destroy anyone who gets in their way.

      CommoChief in reply to Gapper. | August 26, 2022 at 1:35 pm

      Ultimately this was a dispute between the National Archives and an outgoing POTUS about what were regarded as ‘private papers’. The Presidential Records Act, the statute that applies here, grants the discretion to POTUS not the Archivist.

      I would infer that the outgoing team DJT told the Archivist to pound sand and the Archivist got butthurt. Then the Archivist called in the DoJ because they were in a pissing contest with DJT, who let’s be honest, they probably didn’t care for even prior to being told to pound sand.

      Essentially, we are here because Orange Man Bad and this was a lever to use against him by the DC bureaucracy. IMO anyway.

      diver64 in reply to Gapper. | August 27, 2022 at 5:58 am

      I suspect that the DOJ is desperate to get back all the documents related to the Russia witch hunt to prevent that evidence from ever seeing the light of day. Even if Trump de-classified everything there and I suspect he did as he said he did, I expect the DOJ to try and reclassify everything and destroy what they need to keep it all from the light of day. My idea is that what Trump had would show the entire apparatus of State from Obama on down colluding to try and keep Trump from office

    JHogan in reply to jhkrischel. | August 26, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    The Anti-Trump Axis refuses to recognize Trump was a legitimate President and they refuse to recognize he had the same power past Presidents had.

“…heavily redacted”

“Heavily” is a rather weak term to describe this Extremely, Highly, Over-redacted Piece of Bull Crap they call a Search Warrant Affidavit.

████████████ ██████████████ ████ █ ███████████████

██████████████████ ██████ ████ ████ █ ████████████

█████████ █████████████ █████ ███████ █████.

“People of Orange bad”.

Every day I say a little prayer of thank you that Merrick Garland did not get appointed to SCOTUS.

    Eagle1 in reply to NotCoach. | August 26, 2022 at 8:40 pm

    Whenever I think badly of Mitch McConnell, I concentrate on the number 6-3 and imagine Garland sitting in a black robe until the feeling goes away.

    JHogan in reply to NotCoach. | August 26, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    We should be grateful, I suppose, that McConnell actually does his job once in awhile. I suppose it makes up for all the times he doesn’t and aids and abets the Dems.

Let the appeals begin.

This is like a butcher wrapping a pound of beef in a brown wrapper and going to the judge requesting permission to butcher farmer Brown’s cow. Farmer Brown asks to see what was in the package they took to the judge and they take out the meat and show him the brown paper wrapper.

The lack of any possible crime in that should be an indictment of the judge as well as the FBI.

1. The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper
removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful
concealment or removal of govermnent records

It has already been established the President can take classified material and move it wherever he wants to and declassify it at whim. In other words- the entire warrant is BS. Complete and utter BS. Didn’t bother reading after that- if the opening is legally ludicrous- the rest is also.

    Milhouse in reply to gospace. | August 26, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    Um, no. It hasn’t been established that even a president can move it wherever he wants to while it’s still classified. And yes, he can declassify whatever he likes, but we have only Trump’s word that he did declassify this material. Now that should make it impossible to prosecute him, because how could the government ever prove beyond reasonable doubt that he didn’t? but it doesn’t mean it’s actually true. There is certainly some circumstantial evidence indicating that he didn’t, and that this is just an excuse made up retroactively after the raid. Not nearly enough to prove it beyond reasonable doubt, but enough that we shouldn’t just take his word for it.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | August 26, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      Oh horseshit. Conjecture masquerading as intelligent thought. The president says he declassified, you can’t prove he didn’t, end of story,

      There is no other word to take. No one, not one single person, can usurp the authority granted the president by the constitution. He does not have to follow YOUR procedure, or any procedure dreamed up by others. The president sets his own procedure and he doesn’t even have to tell you what it is.

      This was an illegal raid conducted by a corrupt organization. And they did so in defiance of the constitution.

      clintack in reply to Milhouse. | August 26, 2022 at 4:27 pm

      Genuinely curious — what’s the circumstantial evidence that he didn’t?

        My guess is that the evidence would be that there is some required documentation of the act of declassification that is not present. That would be consistent with the way both the government and Trump operate.

          Eagle1 in reply to jb4. | August 26, 2022 at 8:53 pm

          The President can declassify by what ever means he desires.

          As someone who has worked around highly classified documents for decades, I do find it interesting that the paperwork says “marked as classified” as opposed to “classified documents”.

          Also, something not to be discounted, is that the FBI/DOJ can keep this going because Trump himself does not necessarily need to be the target of the investigation.

          Does any of us believe that he physically carried out of the White House those 15 boxes? Would he have known specifically what was in every box?

          The DOJ can keep the smoke generators going, because they can argue that they have to determine who the individual responsible is. The questioning of people could take months, maybe up to 27 months.

          Barry in reply to jb4. | August 27, 2022 at 11:29 am

          “My guess is that the evidence would be that there is some required documentation of the act of declassification that is not present.”

          Your guess would be flat out 100% wrong.
          The only evidence of declassification needed is in hand, the docs are in the possession of the previous president. That’s it, end of story.

          You people need to read the constitution once in a while so you can understand the theft of your freedom and liberty that is being conducted by the government.

      Ironclaw in reply to Milhouse. | August 26, 2022 at 7:52 pm

      I’d certainly much rather take Trump’s word than the word of people who open investigations based on known false “dossiers” and falsify evidence to fraudulently obtain FISA warrants.

      caseoftheblues in reply to Milhouse. | August 26, 2022 at 8:21 pm

      Cite the evidence ….

      bhwms in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 12:25 pm

      @Milhouse – “we have only Trump’s word that he did declassify this material. ”

      In the case of the Crossfire Hurricane materials, we have a Presidential memo directing the declassification after DOJ said some things needed to stay classified. The memo directed the DoJ to submit their redactions in a time certain.

      We have the word of Kash Patel that lots of other things were declassified in those final weeks – I hope there are more of these memos that haven’t surfaced yet.

… So it is the identities of the FBI people who instigated Russiagate.

    MrPeabody in reply to Oracle. | August 26, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    I am sorry but that will have to be redacted.

    ████████████ ██████████████ ████.

There are so many fascinating angles to this event and questions that still must be formally resolved. Here’s A few examples:
1. Do the specific statutes re POTUS override more general statutes? IOW the POTUS actually is different than others which most would agree with as a general proposition because during term of office he is the unitary executive….or is he? IMO yes.
2. The POTUS not the archivist ultimately decides what are his private papers …or does he? The statute says it’s the decision of the POTUS. Can the national archives overrule POTUS? Based on what statutory authority and what constitutional basis? I don’t see it personally.
2.(A) Can a subsequent POTUS revoke the decision of a prior POTUS on that point? IMO, no.
3. The POTUS can change any classification he chooses …or can he? Bush and Obama thought so and asserted this as well as DJT. IMO, yes.
3. (A) Can a subsequent POTUS use the same authority to create a catch-22 so that previously unclassified docs are suddenly classified and therefore subject to the usual access, storage and handling requirements? Maybe, big BUT is that a good idea (no) and could it be abused (yes)
3.(B) A 24 hour guard monitoring a single access point for the docs, able to prevent unauthorized access would seem to eliminate objections re safe storage or access and DJT has a Secret Service detail, cameras, security system and so on.

Once again this event as in previous events and the questions surrounding it boil down to, as always essentially But Trump! Orange man bad! Let’s throw this against the wall and maybe it will stick. IMO, the d/prog will not like the ultimate result. Either:
A. DJT skates away again, as always because it’s BS
B. They finally Get Trump, but at the cost of setting a political and legal precedent that can be used v d/prog. Looking at you Clinton, Obama, Biden, y’all should be very careful what you wish for.

    taurus the judge in reply to CommoChief. | August 27, 2022 at 10:01 am

    @ Chief

    You:There are so many fascinating angles to this event and questions that still must be formally resolved.

    I’m going to add an observation from Psyops (based on media information and a field analysis of it leading to a reasoned hypothetical evaluation of the situation)

    1) We can safely believe now that whatever the purpose/intent of the raid really was ( and its nothing thats been put out there so far), it has failed miserably. We can know this by the acts of the “usual suspects”.

    Nobody has leaked a “smoking gun”; The media isn’t prognosticating the end of Trump and a daily countdown to when “it’ is finally coming; The GOPe/RINO group is silent.

    Just knowing the TDS level and true intent of the aforementioned, I cannot accept any other scenario than they know fully well whatever they were planning not only fizzled ( they would still be engaged in black PR) but may even backfire and get some of them ( thats the only reason they ever remain silent)

    Those are passive indicators- now lets plug in the active 1.

    Trump put out his declaration in broad view (something guilty people seldom do) but then he comes out with that “missing page” MAGA redacted one.

    That is the textbook definition of GOADING.

    NOBODY does that unless they not only are sure they “got the goods” but are confident the opposing side can do little to nothing.

    Reading the redacted affidavit actually produced more that I expected. I expected nothing and the affidavit produced less than nothing. They would have been better off revealing less because what they did reveal is closer to rebuking their case than shoring it up and I seriously doubt any redacted part has any smoking gun ( because it would have been leaked).

    That redaction also supports they know this is now a lost cause.

    Thats just one possible interpretation of the information available.

    Elzorro in reply to CommoChief. | August 28, 2022 at 1:51 am

    Statutes do not outweigh constitutional plenary power. No contest.

I’m looking forward to somebody knowledgeable doing a point-by-point rebuttal of the unredacted portions of the affidavit. Seems to break down to
–Various wild claims about nuklar sekretts spun by the media (busted)
–NARA screeching about how Trump has a bunch of stuff they want (too bad, President has full authority to determine that.)
–Secret Docs! Top Secret! (Busted since Trump had the ultimate authority to declassify while President, which he did for everything transferred to MAL)
–Storage not up to Classified level! (Busted because its the same storage he had while President)
–████████████ ██████████████ ████ █ ██████████████ (which we can’t see because super-secret you know)

Oh, and any Executive Privilege or Client-Lawyer documents they picked up by accident despite having a Privilege Review Team on site will be treated correctly and not read by the FBI and acted on really, honest, we promise and no you can’t look because… squirrel!

    Olinser in reply to georgfelis. | August 26, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    The NUKLEAR SEKRITS crap hasn’t actually been busted.

    It may very well actually be in the redacted crap, but they know that it won’t stand up to even the slightest scrutiny so they cut it out.

      Milhouse in reply to Olinser. | August 26, 2022 at 2:42 pm

      Or there are actually nuclear secrets in the affidavit, and that’s why they redacted it.

      The thing is, we have no reason to believe that. If we had the FBI’s word about it we still wouldn’t believe it, because they have no credibility left; but in fact we don’t even have that! All we have are rumors. So yes, the redaction means the rumor hasn’t been busted, but it also means it hasn’t been confirmed, so the way to bet is against it.

        One ‘nuclear secret’ that might be horribly embarrassing to the current administration would be classified intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program gathered during the Trump administration. Declassified and released, it would spike the current administration’s attempt to send billions of taxpayer dollars to Iran, although it would also reveal just *what* spies/sources we have inside of Iran’s most secret project.

        amatuerwrangler in reply to Milhouse. | August 26, 2022 at 8:04 pm

        You don’t put the actual “seekrets” in the affidavit You would use the title of the document and describe the contents of said document as being “information about the nuclear weaponry/policy that, if specifically quoted or paraphrased in this affidavit would compromise national security.” You would not have to redact that statement. The judge could still authorize the search as the whole thing is based on “probable cause to believe”, not absolute certainty.

        The redaction is a cover-up for bogus claims. That’s my semi-knowledgeable opinion.

        taurus the judge in reply to Milhouse. | August 27, 2022 at 5:57 am

        I think the answer is much simpler

        “Nuclear Secrets” is a “code’ and metaphor.

        Nuclear- the impact it will have on the left

        Secret- Things they don’t want known to and by the masses

Where is the media scrutiny of dotard-marionette, Biden’s (in truth, his handlers/lackeys/chaperones) retroactively (and, illegally) removing President Trump’s declassification of certain of the seized documents, so that DOJ could make its supposed case? This angle regarding the brazen lawlessness and vindictiveness with which the vile Dumb-o-crats aim to sabotage and vilify President Trump hasn’t received the attention that it deserves.

Corrupt, evil peoe are entrenched in our government, and we tolerate a rat named McConnell, a clek named McCarthy and a rodent named Ronna Romney in the winfgs as our BEST case senario..

We deserve the misery.

Enter Seinfeld late library book skit.

So, yeah.
It was an illegal fishing expedition and an attack against a political opponent. Completely normal and acceptable, for a banana republic.

No mention of “national security” justifying the raid. You would think that would have been featured prominently in the unredacted information.

I am extremely pessimistic at this point in time that the Leftist controlling this country will be removed. They have dug a hole so deep that to prevent being thrown in a Supermax Prison or worse, the Left will do anything and everything to remain in power. Therefore, the Left is proceeding with these audacious actions and there will be no one to reverse them. Will we have an “election” this fall? If we do, will it be real or just a sham to place more Leftist in power with the help of Do-Min-Yun, universal mail-in balloting and other forms of subterfuge?

These redactions demonstrate the continuing lack of respect the FBI/DOJ have for the courts.

This is legal version of political DJT impeachment 2- iE Vindeman on roids.

I have wondered why it was that a magistrate judge signed off on the warrant of all the options that the DOJ has. This guy is pretty low on the totem pole. Today, finally, over at The Federalist, Philip Hamburger addresses this issue:

Hamburger is a man of consequence in law and should some attorney in the Trump camp take notice and pursue the issue, it could provide some very interesting entertainment.

    Barry in reply to ekimremmit. | August 26, 2022 at 3:11 pm

    “I have wondered why…”

    They own some judges more deeply than others. They chose this judge based upon that.

      mailman in reply to Barry. | August 26, 2022 at 3:47 pm

      And i dare say the magistrate who issued the search warrant has skin in the game in ensuring its seen as legitimate! So it’s not surprising he has agreed to their redactions.

      Democrats went looking for a willing idiot and he was only far to happy to help them out any way he could.

    Interesting, but short. Issuing search warrants is one of the powers delegated to magistrates from the judge who appoints them.

      ekimremmit in reply to georgfelis. | August 26, 2022 at 6:21 pm

      Hamburger’s argument is precisely that it is not in the purview of the judge to delegate the issuance of warrants to magistrates and thus it becomes a legally contestable question.

number crunch | August 26, 2022 at 2:46 pm

The classification issue and presidential records is a smoke screen; a convenient excuse with lots of probable cause including a paper trail of documents from POTUS declassifying the documents in his possession. Both these issues were being handled administratively as per the PRA and the only issue even up for debate is whether the existing paper trail for declassification exists or even if it’s necessary.

What DoJ and the FBI are after is incriminating documents on the Trump business affairs to bolster the ongoing NYC investigation, Since there was insufficient probable cause for a search warrant on the Trump business affairs, the FBI coupled the two together to enable a fishing expedition.

I suspect little if anything on the business affairs was found. If it was, I suspect it will never make it to trial because of insufficient probable cause. So what we’re left with is the FBI dabbling in politics to discredit a political candidate to curry favor with the current political masters.

I believe that the FBI and the DoJ dabbling in political affairs in such a one sided manner is going to backfire in the ’22 and ’24 elections because you’re not going to sway the bases and those who actually can think see bias bordering on persecution

Exactly as expected. Nothing. The DOJ/FBI had no probable cause. Everything is made up. It’s all a lie just like everything they’ve done previously.

We all know this. Quit pretending otherwise.

Steven Brizel | August 26, 2022 at 3:25 pm

This affidavit reveals that the records retention issue was a pretext for a search of “obstruction of justice” or Russiagate and 1/6/21 related documents. There are many evidentiary issues and deficiencies which I would list as follows:

1) The head of NARA is a documented Trump hater
2) A president can declassify any documents he desires while in office-How many of these documents were declassified without removing any classified notations and the like? This issue is totally avoided by the declarant
3 ) Many of the documents described appear to be newspaper clippings that you can get in any decent public library
4) There is no proof that any of the documents were trucked to Mar A Lago
5) There is no proof of probable cause-all redacted
6) a special master or judge not the FBI should deal with issues of attorney-client privilege

    #4 there should probably be “There is no proof the documents were in danger of being removed from MAL or destroyed” They *obviously* got there by a vehicle of some sort, most probably the GSA deliveries he had made while still President.

Simple illegal search and seizure case.

Another example of Leftists attempt to criminalize political actions. This has been going on for years.

Exactly as we expected from them.

Hey! Other nations prosecute and jail their former leaders! Why shouldn’t we?!
That’s now the argument liberals are making. I mean, it’s not just banana republics! France has done it! I myself think saying France isn’t a banana republic is pushing it…

Jan 6 isn’t going anywhere because there is no there there so something else had to be used to GET TRUMP. This was nothing more than a fishing expedition to try and find something to remove Joey’s likely opponent. I’m not reading many who think otherwise even those on the left. To wait 18 months after Trump left office, have him and his lawyers co-operate the entire time, have the FBI at Mar in June and leave just saying put a different lock on it then have Grey Man Garland dither for several weeks before approving the raid then have the FBI sit on the Search Warrant over a weekend until Trump was gone doesn’t scream Nuclear Secrets to me. That and forcing Trumps lawyer outside and demanding the camera’s be turned off then cruising through Melania’s underwear drawer. All was ridiculous.

BierceAmbrose | August 29, 2022 at 3:15 pm

This is what happens when there’s agency (pun intended) without feedback. When there’s no cost to doing anything, they’ll do anydamnthing.

And with all due respect to judge-y editorializers, “same as it ever was”, while a fine Talking Heads lyric, is no counter-argument. Maybe we didn’t realize working like this was how it would come out. Maybe there’s a counter-force in principle in place, not operating. Maybe we want to design things a bit differently, now that we know how this way plays out.

That old line really makes an ironic comment — “same as it ever was” notes the presence of motivation for change, under appearance of endorsement, because it’s always worked that way.

Halting conditions are a thing. We should maybe design protocols, policies, and especially authoritites to have them.

BierceAmbrose | August 29, 2022 at 4:18 pm

“Key parts heavily redacted”

Well, if we knew what they were doing, we might try to have some input on that. Can’t have the people managing themselves for their own advantage, especially through “their” appointed agents. Who’s in charge here, anyway?

This business with search warrants grows stranger by the moment. The question that comes to mind is why. While the question may seem foolish to some, it makes more sense than the lack of an answer does. Let me put it this way. Who is hiding the salami? Why is it being hidden? And precisely what kind of salami is it?