A document unsealed Thursday that details the crimes the Justice Department is investigating, including “deliberate retention of national defense information,” sharpens focus on former President Donald Trump as a possible subject of the criminal investigation, several told reporters. legal experts to CNN.
US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart released several court documents on Thursday relating to the FBI’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida home. The recently unsealed document was part of the injunction application and was one of several largely procedural documents the judge unlocked on Thursday.
Previously, the search documents only listed the federal statutes, including the broad law known as the Espionage Act. And the documents released so far have made it clear that Trump and others around him face potential legal exposure, including for potential obstruction of justice.
But the specific language about “detention on purpose” could point to the role of the former president, who would have been authorized to possess national defense documents while in office, but not when he went to his private club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida. left.
In the files, prosecutors also argued that they should keep their search papers secret before Monday’s search, “because the integrity of the ongoing investigation could be compromised and evidence destroyed.”
The documents filed include the Department of Justice’s request to seal the warrant documents, the warrant to grant that seal request, and the criminal cover sheet.
The cover also states that the Department of Justice has filed a request to search Mar-a-Lago on the assumption that they could both find evidence of these crimes and recover illegally occupied items.
Also Thursday, Reinhart initiated the possible public release of a heavily edited version of the affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago search.
The judge plans to hear more from the Justice Department next week about the extent to which investigators want to keep confidential the document describing their investigative steps and methods that led to the need for the search.
Reinhart said he was not yet convinced that the entire affidavit should not be made public.
“I am not prepared to believe that the affidavit should be sealed in full,” based on the record he now has, Reinhart said, adding that there are “portions” that can be unsealed.
Prosecutors will have a chance to propose editorials and explain why every bit of information should be hidden from the public, Reinhart said. Those proposals are expected on August 25.