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Judge sets up possible release of redacted affidavit justifying Mar-a-Lago search

Aug 18, 2022, 12:37 PM | Updated: 12:38 pm
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Former President Donald Trump is pictured. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart set in motion on Thursday the possible public release of a heavily redacted version of the affidavit for the search at Mar-a-Lago. 

The judge plans to hear more from the Justice Department by next week about how extensively investigators want to keep confidential the document that describes their investigative steps and methods leading to the need for the search.

Reinhart said he wasn’t convinced yet that the entire affidavit should remain undisclosed to the public.

I’m not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed” based on the record he has now, Reinhart said, adding that there are “portions” that could be unsealed.

Prosecutors will have the opportunity to propose redactions and explain why each piece of information needs to be kept from the public eye, Reinhart said. Those proposals will be due next Thursday.

Reinhart said he then may have additional confidential discussions with the Justice Department before making his decisions on transparency.

Earlier on Thursday, Reinhart said he would unseal some other, procedural filings that are currently under seal on the search warrant docket.

According to the judge’s comments, the filings are the Department of Justice’s motion to seal the warrant documents, the order granting that sealing request and the criminal cover sheet.

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Judge sets up possible release of redacted affidavit justifying Mar-a-Lago search