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Media To Judge: Unseal Mar-a-Lago Raid Affidavit Since The Feds Already Leaked So Much To Us

Media To Judge: Unseal Mar-a-Lago Raid Affidavit Since The Feds Already Leaked So Much To Us

Having turned on the leak fire hose full blast just three months from national elections, it’s pretty cheeky for the feds now to claim everything about the circumstances leading up to the raid has to be kept under seal.

I didn’t know if they would go there. But they did.

A large group of media entities sought to intervene in Judicial Watch’s motion to unseal all documents regarding the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago. The government in response itself moved to unseal the Warrant and Receipt for seized items. But the feds oppose release of the Affidavit used to obtain the warrant on the grounds that it would interfere with ongoing criminal investigations and threaten national security. So sensitive is the Affidavit that the feds said it couldn’t even be unsealed in redacted form.

As a general matter, search warrant affidavits are not released until and unless criminal charges are filed. But this was no ordinary raid – it was a raid on a former president and (almost certain) presidential candidate who (likely) will be the Republican nominee.

But more, the feds have been leaking like a sieve, or more appropriately, like a fire hose on full blast.

Fortunately, in addition to Judicial Watch’s Reply, these media entities in a Consolidated Reply filed late today catalogued how many details have been reported by them. Almost all of those details would have had to come from the feds because team Trump would not be in a position to know what the FBI was doing behind the scenes. From the Reply (for the footnoted links see the document):

Indeed, the press has already widely reported significant details about the events leading up to the search and the investigation, including that:

• Some of the materials sought in the Mar-a-Lago search related to nuclear weapons5 and/or “special access programs”6;
• The National Archives referred the matter to the Justice Department after it retrieved 15 boxes of materials from Mar-a-Lago in January7;
• Some of the materials recovered by the National Archives were classified, including signals intelligence8;
• Some of the recovered materials were torn up and needed to be taped back together9;
• The Department of Justice launched an investigation and convened a grand jury10;
• This spring, the Department of Justice served a subpoena on Trump seeking additional classified materials in his possession11;
• Department of Justice officials, including Jay Bratt, the department’s chief of counterintelligence and export control, met at Mar-a-Lago in June with Trump attorneys Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran12;
• During the June meeting, Trump briefly stopped by but did not answer any questions13;
• Also during the June visit, the group toured storage facilities at Mar-a-Lago and reviewed some materials there14;
• Bratt subsequently sent an email to Corcoran instructing him to further secure the area where the documents were kept15;
• One of Trump’s attorneys signed a letter to the Department of Justice stating that all materials marked as classified and held in storage at Mar-a-Lago had been turned over16;
• The Department of Justice also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, which showed that boxes were moved in and out the storage room where the records at issue were kept17; and
• Justice Department officials interviewed many current and former Trump employees, at least one of whom indicated there may have been additional classified materials remaining at Mar-a-Lago18.

To the extent that the affidavit of probable cause contains any of this information, or other details about the investigation already reported in the press, there is no compelling interest in maintaining it under seal. Instead, those portions of the affidavit should be made public even if the Court finds a compelling interest to maintain other discrete portions under seal.

Some of these reports may be accurate, some inaccurate, and most likely, a lot of partial truths/partial falsities intended to litigate the case not in court, but in the media.

So, having turned on the leak fire hose full blast just three months from national elections, it’s pretty cheeky for the feds now to claim everything about the circumstances leading up to the raid has to be kept under seal.

That’s the winning argument. Not to unseal the entire affidavit — I can’t see that happening — but to limit the redactions.

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Comments

The fact that they’re so desperate to keep us from seeing it tells us all you need to know about what’s in it.

If it could stand up to even basic scrutiny they would have leaked it already.

    Dimsdale in reply to Olinser. | August 18, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Or they want to have complete control, so they can dribble it out until the election, since it is the only way to breathe any life into the J6 persecution.

    Dumping it out now, and the voters will see it is all crap and their October “surprise” will be a bust.

Colonel Travis | August 17, 2022 at 9:03 pm

The government of President Obama, in cahoots with the (D) nominee at the time, lied and abused power to eliminate the opposition candidate. When that didn’t work, the (D) party lied and abused power to remove him from office. When that didn’t work the opposition party changed election laws to prevent him from winning. When that didn’t erase him from the scene, the Biden administration is abusing its power to try to send him to prison. They’ve already done this with his supporters.

Tell me how the United States has not returned to the tyrannical rot from which it fled.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 17, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Also tell me how to not get 3 inches of dramatic white space in your comment.

    No troops quartered in our homes? (so far)

      Milhouse in reply to irv. | August 18, 2022 at 10:44 am

      Quartering troops with civilians is no longer a standard military practice, so the third amendment is mostly of no effect and might as well not exist.

      But if it were still an active amendment, it would not be in effect for the last few decades, since it does not apply during wartime, and since 2001 we’ve been at war with al Qaeda and its allies.

        alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | August 18, 2022 at 12:13 pm

        Presently, LA has a pending vote on requiring all motels and hotels to have their unused rooms given to the homeless on a nightly basis… ALL motels and hotels. SEIU approves.

        Now, as for 3A…. what if the admin and Congress declare an all out war on homelessness, designating any spare house or bedroom as necessary for the homeless? Coming to a neighborhood like ours.

          Per today’s news reports, NYC is already starting to do that.

          Gosport in reply to alaskabob. | August 19, 2022 at 12:06 am

          NYC is said to be looking for 6000 hotel rooms to house illegal aliens.

          Oddly enough there is already a facility there designed for just that. It’s called Ellis Island. It was good enough for some 20 million legal immigrants.

          According the The History Channel about 40% of the population of the U.S. can trace their ancestry to immigrants who arrived via Ellis Island.

Really it is too much. How will the govt be able to have its cake and eat it as well? If the affidavit is released they won’t be able to leak innuendo, tantalizing but irrelevant items, smears, bogus claims and outright lies for several months or years before being knocked down like a house of cards. We must trust the honorable people in the leadership of the DoJ and FBI until proven otherwise. /S

    The communists (formerly called the democrat party) only care to feed their useful idiots.
    People with IQ’s higher than celery aren’t going to be fooled.

    You CAN have your cake and eat it too. You cannot EAT your cake and have it too. Everyone gets it backward.

The press is going to happily write fiction and attribute it to anonymous sources if they can’t get the FBI to leak. They do it all the time anyway.

Almost all of those details would have had to come from the feds because team Trump would not be in a position to know what the FBI was doing behind the scenes

No, they wouldn’t have had to come from the feds. You’re ignoring the most likely alternative: They came from sources that are neither the feds nor Team Trump, or from nowhere at all. Where have most of the “leaks” and “bombshells” of the last decade, that turned out to have been complete fabrications, come from? Not the feds, but some reporter’s imagination. Why would the current “leaks” be any different?

    Dimsdale in reply to Milhouse. | August 18, 2022 at 10:06 am

    “Leaks” and outright fabrications are becoming interchangeable, thanks to the state media.

    CaliforniaJimbo in reply to Milhouse. | August 18, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    Logically, one would surmise that the information came from the feds. I agree we cannot discount the reporters making it up. Their email records will never be subpoenaed. No one will raid their homes and dig for the information. If it were truly a trustworthy anonymous source, the reporters would burn them for the misleading information. I suspect the feds and the reporters are on the same side and want the same thing. So much for holding truth to power. Only when an R is in office.

Interested Party | August 18, 2022 at 12:35 am

These leaks serve to justify what was done. As long as the real reason isn’t released, half the country will rest easy in the assurance that it was justified based soley on these uncorroberated leaks.

Newsweak now reporting they took Trump’s “private stash” of documents. Reading between the lines, because the deep state was worried that he would use those documents against them. Truly incredible!

https://www.newsweek.com/fbi-sought-documents-trump-hoarded-years-including-about-russiagate-1734280

He has copies no doubt

They’re probably deciding right now what to put in the affidavit to show the judge. The original one approved by Epstein supporter Federal Magistrate Bruce Reinhart said simply:
“Because Trump”
That was enough for him to approve it.

    Dimsdale in reply to gospace. | August 18, 2022 at 10:09 am

    Too bad that “because innocent little girls” wasn’t enough to keep him from supporting Epstein or demanding the release of the Democrat laden client list.

It’s not leaks as much as their Propaganda Ministry is spinning the government messages and opinions.
They work together hand in hand.

The first thought that came to mind was whether the leaks were true. Further thoughts:

Do the investigations in progress referred to include the Durham investigations of the FBI. Shouldn’t someone ask?

Could it be the affidavits cannot be effectively redacted because of how they were written rather than what is revealed? Style over content? I’m having a hard time understanding what exactly couldn’t be redacted. Everything they took is uber top secret? Really? Trump is that sinister? Shouldn’t someone ask?

Also Trump’s lawyers were allowed to read the affidavits but not allowed copies. Would releasing the affidavits reveal discrepancies from what the version the lawyers read?

The government has been lying about everything for so long so why should we believe anything they say? Oh yeah. Sure. Why would the government lie.

They are going to stretch this out and allow wild speculation and lies to drive their desired narrative for as long as they can. It will take a couple of years to hire and train those 87,000 IRS Army recruits. Then they will proceed and wage their war against the middle class voters.

    Ides of April

      April 14 is a very popular date in history for having bad things happen. Julius Caesar assassinated, Lincoln assassination, Titanic sinking, first game at Fenway Park (same day as Titanic sinking),… all excuses for why people were late to file their tax returns.

    taurus the judge in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 18, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    Phil

    In general terms

    >>>Could it be the affidavits cannot be effectively redacted because of how they were written rather than what is revealed? Style over content? I’m having a hard time understanding what exactly couldn’t be redacted. Everything they took is uber top secret? Really? Trump is that sinister? Shouldn’t someone ask?

    Just speculating but it COULD be:
    The redacting argument is just a stalling tactic ( my personal bet)
    Revealing a CI ( possible)
    The information in the warrant reveals the CI or other sensitive thing (possible) because the information identifies the likely source

    >>>Also Trump’s lawyers were allowed to read the affidavits but not allowed copies. Would releasing the affidavits reveal discrepancies from what the version the lawyers read?

    Literally they didn’t release it because its sealed and they don’t have to.

    HOWEVER there is another technique often used regarding copies. (I never dealt with this personally but have heard of it)

    They show because they have to show the existence but also this makes the person read fast ( miss info) and hurts retention by memory ability ( they forget details)

    I have experienced a 4:59 fax right before a deadline with 100 pages KNOWING its a data overload.

    All of this is speculation because none of us have seen the affidavit but I believe it will fall in to one or more of those things

      Trump needs to hire Evelyn Wood. She can read with the speed of light.

      Another thing to consider is the Trump attorneys, I think there were two of them, didn’t have to memorize the affidavits. They already know what was taken. They could have quickly scanned legal verbiage and skipped over irrelevant items while looking for specific items that would make Trump’s case (incriminating Russia hoax evidence e.g.) or that were missing from the list. The cat and mouse game.

      I’m listening to Bongino right now and it’s giving me ideas. It could be that Garland was looking for specific evidence incriminating the FBI and others. If it’s about Russiagate, it’s possibly evidence Trump declassified long before he left the WH but was overruled by the DOJ. So he kept copies. DOJ didn’t ask for it because it’s incriminating to the DOJ/FBI and Trump is the last guy they want to have that evidence. But they can’t declare that is what they are looking for so it isn’t listed in the affidavits.

      So Trump wants them to release the affidavits. Garland can’t release them either because that evidence is listed and DOJ/FBI would be busted. Or that evidence is not listed and the DOJ/FBI knows they are trapped because it is easy to guess that Trump does, has already declassified them and if he released them to the public, it wouldn’t matter that they were subsequently reclassified. The world would then know the truth.

      Just sayin’.

        Good points, but I don’t think the DOJ gets to “overrule” the president on classifications. It’s my understanding that the president can declassify anything he wants to. Does anyone know if that’s correct?

Impeachment 1.0 and 2.0 through projection. Impeachment 3.0 with 3.1 in the wings. Hope and change that this one is viable. Such a burden.

    Dimsdale in reply to n.n. | August 18, 2022 at 10:11 am

    Maybe that is why TV has been such crap lately: the fiction writers are working for the left, in particular, the J6 persecution committee.

So, we are supposed to believe Trump had such highly classified documents like nuke codes that:
1) DOJ waited 18 months to do the raid
2) met with Trump in June but didnt take them only asked for a better lock
3) Gray Man Garland dithered for several weeks before giving the go ahead on this unprecedented raid on a former President
4) The warrant was so broad it allowed seizure of everything including a search of Melania’s underwear
5) the DOJ had to get a former schill for Jeff Epstein, who did’t kill himself, to issue it
6) the FBI waited a whole weekend before showing up
7) DOJ after leaking and doing spin claims not only that if you question them your unpatriotic but wont release any details just “trust us” after the Russia nonsense

Sound about right?

    jhkrischel in reply to diver64. | August 18, 2022 at 8:48 am

    This is exactly why I started believing that COVID was bullshit back in April 2020 -> I looked at 2nd and 3rd order effects. If the Ds really thought COVID was a massive problem, they would have embraced Trump, put aside their differences, and worked with him earnestly. The fact that they started sniping and fighting was clear evidence that they did not believe their own hype.

    If COVID really was a threat to humanity of any significant magnitude, the Ds would have let go of “Orange Man Bad”. When they didn’t, the truth was obvious.

    Pay attention to what they *do*, not what they *say*.

    Dimsdale in reply to diver64. | August 18, 2022 at 10:13 am

    You couldn’t make this up if you tried. Maybe Hillary will get another ghost writer to fabricate a novel.

    Of course, the affidavit was made up…

taurus the judge | August 18, 2022 at 7:46 am

Several possible choices on their strategy but in reality I think there’s a slim chance of seeing the affidavit publicly unless/until a formal charge is brought. (can allow the opposing side to view it but not disclose it so basically this release is for public consumption)

I’m somewhat torn between it being basically bogus on its face which would incite the public ( a true fishing expedition) and withholding it as a “strategy” so they can “leak” whatever story they want with no way to attach or verify the actual authenticity to the raid as it relates to anything.

Steven Brizel | August 18, 2022 at 8:40 am

This is ;leak by leak drip by drip just like Russiagate collusion-if there was any evidence that would have constituted probable cause for the search, it would have been all over the legacy media

Two possibilities not mentioned:

1. Even with redactions of all that can be justified as confidential, it’ll be obvious who the leaker was.

2. There are false statements in the affidavit that DOJ knew or should have known were false, i.e., perjury, that DOJ believes the judge on his own will not catch but that the Trump people will catch and play up in the midterms.

    Dimsdale in reply to RRRR. | August 18, 2022 at 10:16 am

    Agreed, but you say false statements should stop them.

    Hasn’t yet…

    Knowing the FBI’s history:
    1) The judge will order the affidavit unsealed.
    2) The FBI will request redactions “Sources and methods, top secret information, etc..” which the judge will approve.
    3) The released affidavit will be coal black, seven pages of pure toner.

If we are lucky (we meaning the country), this “garland” will turn into a crown of thorns for the left.

Part of the problem is that the federal court system does not police itself very well. I find it astonishing that the misconduct before the FISA court has not been punished. From what I’ve heard, the lawyer who falsified information has not been disbarred, nor have any of his superiors been sanctioned for letting happen something they could have and should have prevented. When was the last time the Chief Justice disciplined or even publicly admonished a judge or a magistrate for issueing a warrant on a basis that was obviously or highly likely to be inadequate? Reversal is not sufficient. Excluding the evidence is not sufficient. I’m not sure how much authority the Chief Justice or the chief judge of a Circuit has to prevent a judge who is obviously incompetent or biased from hearing cases, but from what I’ve seen over the years of reassignments, there certainly is something.

This judge will keep the underlying documents secret, not to protect the government but to protect himself from further exposing his bias and how corrupt and easily manipulated he is.

The government argued not to release the documents because of “highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government.”

Less than 24 hours later they had leaked the names of two of those witnesses.

This is pubic opinion management via media leak.