Florida Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart will hold a Thursday hearing regarding the media’s request to unseal investigators’ Mar-a-Lago affidavit, CNN reported.
On Monday, former President Donald Trump, along with media outlets, called for the affidavit on which the search warrant was based to be released to the public. The Justice Department has opposed releasing the document because it would “likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses,” prosecutors wrote.
But Trump has called for full transparency. “I call for the immediate release of the completely Unredacted Affidavit pertaining to this horrible and shocking BREAK-IN,” he said.
Trump has also demanded Reinhart recuse himself from the proceeding. “Also, the Judge on this case should recuse!” he said on Truth Social.
The Wall Street Journal reported it took Attorney General Merrick Garland weeks to approve the search warrant of former Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private residence. The establishment media suggested “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items the FBI” sought in the raid of Mar-a-Lago. That claim has not been proven.
However, the FBI did collect Trump’s passports during the raid. Though the media tried to spin it otherwise, Trump’s team dropped an email from Jay Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the Justice Department’s national security division, confirming the passports were seized in the raid. The email revealed the agency would be returned to Trump “at 2 PM today.”
On Tuesday, the FBI issued an unusual statement defending its seizure procedures. “In executing search warrants, the FBI follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes,” the FBI stated.