After the National Archives had to travel to Mar-a-Lago earlier this year to take back 15 cartons of documents and other items from the Trump White House, and even after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home last week, could it possible the Dept. of Justice thinks the former president is still holding onto classified documents?
One former federal prosecutor says that one of two distinct possibilities, after DOJ asked a federal judge on Monday to not unseal the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.
“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” the Dept. of Justice’s filing states, ABC News reports. “In a footnote, department officials write that they ‘carefully considered’ whether they could release the affidavit with redactions, but the redactions necessary to ‘mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.’”
“Interesting tidbit,” writes The New York Times’ Alan Feuer. “Prosecutors acknowledge they’ve been interviewing witnesses and say the release of the warrant application could ‘chill future cooperation by witnesses as ‘investigation progresses.’”
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotto says the Dept. of Justice may think Trump still has more classified documents – or there are charges coming in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid.
Mariotto writes: “This suggests DOJ is continuing its investigation, which means one of two things: 1) DOJ *still* isn’t convinced they have all of the classified material Trump took when he left office. 2) They have an ongoing criminal investigation of this matter that could result in charges.”
“That’s potentially very important news,” Mariotto adds. “Many national security pros thought that the main (if not only) purpose of the search warrant was to secure sensitive material, not to build potential criminal charges.”
“The government does not object to unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant whose unsealing would not jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation, subject to minor redactions to protect government personnel.”