The Department of Justice filed a motion on Monday opposing the release of the affidavit that was used to justify the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the 13-page filing says.
“The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential for harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly.”
A judge unsealed the search warrant and property receipt on Friday, which revealed that FBI agents seized approximately 20 boxes of items from Trump’s home, including one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which refers to top secret/sensitive compartmented information.“The government determined that these materials could be released without significant harm to its investigation because the search had already been executed and publicly acknowledged by the former President, and because the materials had previously been provided to the former President through counsel,” the Justice Department wrote in Monday’s filing.
“Disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would, by contrast, cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.”
Trump has called the raid an “assault on a political opponent,” saying that FBI agents took three of his passports during the raid.
“There has never been a time like this where law enforcement has been used to break into the house of a former president of the United States, and there is tremendous anger in the country — at a level that has never been seen before, other than during very perilous times,” Trump told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview.
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The Justice Department said Monday that it does not oppose the release of other documents, such as cover sheets for the warrant and the government’s motion to seal.
Other lawmakers have also called for the release of the affidavit and other documents supporting the search warrant from Trump’s home.
Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines on Sunday, requesting the specific intelligence documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tweeted on Monday afternoon that it is “imperative the Justice Department release the affidavit justifying the raid.”
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The issue now goes back to the magistrate judge, who may ask Trump’s team whether they would support the release of the affidavit.
Fox News’s Brooke Singman and Bill Mears contributed to this report.