After listening to arguments, a federal magistrate has given the Justice Department seven days to redact sensitive information from the affidavit used to justify the search of Mar-a-Lago before making a final decision on what information can be made public.
What happened: Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Thursday convened a hearing after media outlets asked for the release of documents related to the FBI’s search at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate last week, The Washington Post reported.
The news comes a week after the DOJ unsealed the search warrant and the property receipt, which revealed the FBI was looking for evidence of potential violations of the Espionage Act, among other federal statutes.
What’s in the affidavit? It likely contains sworn statements and evidence collected by the FBI, including information provided by confidential informants, presented to authorize the search warrant.
The DOJ opposes the release of the affidavit because the investigation is “open and in its early stages.” There are also concerns that publishing the names of informants or agents working on the investigation could lead to threats of violence from Trump supporters who believe the investigation to be politically motivated.
Reinhart on Thursday unsealed a related court filing, which shows the FBI was investigating possible offenses of “willful retention of national defense information,” “concealment or removal of government records” and “obstruction of federal investigation.”