American judge persisted in insisting on partial disclosure of Mar-a-Lago affidavits

Judge Bruce Reinhart of the federal court in Florida, USA, continued his determined stance on the release of parts of the affidavits used by the FBI in the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.

Requesting the release of the Mar-a-Lago documents to the public in federal court in Florida, Judge Reinhart adjourned the hearing to August 25 after Justice Department investigators objected to the release of the affidavits that provided the reasoning for the search, as it would harm the investigation.

Reinhart requested the Ministry inspectors to provide more justifications for the damages that the public disclosure of the affidavits would cause to the investigation and to submit the documents to be prepared for this to the court by August 25.

Reinhart noted that the Department will then consider proposed corrections and make at least some of the affidavits public, potentially adding new perspectives to the federal investigation.

Justice Department official Jay Bratt, who attended the hearing, stated that the release of affidavits “will not inform the public in a meaningful way, will not serve any purpose, and will endanger some witnesses”.

Reinhart said he was not yet convinced that the entire affidavit should not be made public, and said he could hold additional confidential talks with the Justice Department before making his final decision on transparency.

The process leading to the disclosure of sworn statements

US Attorney General Merrick Garland made the first statement about the FBI raid on Trump’s mansion on August 11, saying that he had approved the search. He announced that he had filed an application with the Florida District Court.

Leading US media outlets have applied to federal court to release the affidavit that sets out the argument that explains the likely reason why FBI agents were forced to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.

After Trump stated that he was not against sharing the search warrant with the public, the federal judge announced the search warrant and the list of seized materials to the public on August 12.

“Disclosure of the government’s statement at this stage will likely hamper future cooperation with witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses and other high-profile investigations,” the Justice Department said in a statement on 16 August.

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