The FBI releases an almost fully redacted affidavit for Trump’s raid.
Published on 29.8.2022
On Friday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the affidavit in support of the FBI’s warrant request to raid former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
Almost the entire published 38-page affidavit has been redacted, with few lines offering insight into the FBI’s unprecedented raid on a former president. The document setting out the justifications to redact the redactions was itself almost completely redacted.
The few sentences made public in the affidavit show, however, that the FBI was motivated to comb through the 128 rooms of Trump’s dwelling due to a CBS News report that a truck was present at Mar-a-Lago in the final days of his presidency.
“Boxes containing documents were transported from the White House to Mar-a-Lago,” the headline read. “According to a CBS Miami article titled ‘Moving Trucks Spotted At Mar-a-Lago’, published Monday, January 18, 2021, at least two moving trucks were observed at PREMISE on January 18, 2021.”
The affidavit also presents the raid as a dramatic escalation of federal law enforcement targeting political opponents, spearheaded by a disgruntled National Archives employee.
The search, which ultimately resulted in the confiscation of 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, was requested by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to recover presidential documents in government possession.
The NARA referral states that, according to the director of NARA’s White House Liaison Division, a preliminary examination of the FIFTEEN BOXES indicated that they contained “newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, various printed matter, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post-presidential documents, and “a lot of classified documents”.
Following criticism of the raid earlier this month, Attorney General Merrick Garland held a press conference at which the nation’s chief law enforcement officer admitted to personally approving the raid of the president whose inauguration overturned Garland’s Supreme Court nomination in 2017.
“First, I personally endorsed the decision to seek a search warrant in this case,” Garland said, adding that the warrant was “narrow in scope.”
“The ministry does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, common practice is to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to limit the scope of any search undertaken,” Garland added.
Examination of the search warrant, however, shows that the approximately 30 plainclothes officers were authorized to seize all documents that Mr. Trump had contact with as president.