Justice Department Releases More of Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant

Justice Department Releases More of Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant
Former President Donald Trump speaks to crowd during a campaign event in Pickens, S.C., on July 1, 2023. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

The Justice Department released more of the affidavit for a search warrant for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate (pdf) on Wednesday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart announced Wednesday in his ruling that additional parts of the document could be unsealed.

Multiple media organizations had requested the entire document be unsealed, but Mr. Reinhart, a magistrate judge for the Southern District of Florida, ruled on July 5 (pdf) that “investigative steps that have not yet been made public” and therefore “should remain under seal.”

The Justice Department first released a redacted copy of the search warrant affidavit in August 2022, and unsealed additional portions in the following month.

Questions were left unanswered as to why investigators believed crimes were committed.

New Information

Among the newly unsealed portions are additional explanations of what investigators believed was in the boxes seized.

“Since the FIFTEEN BOXES were provided to NARA, additional documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain NDI and were stored at the PREMISES in an unauthorized location, have been produced to the government in response to a grand jury subpoena directed to FPOTUS’s post-presidential office and seeking documents containing classification markings stored at the PREMISES and otherwise under FPOTUS’s control.”

A few lines in a seven-page blackout were newly un-redacted, including “It was FPOTUS’s practice to store accumulated documents in boxes, and that continues to be his practice,” and descriptions of Mar-a-Lago doors, and a photo of boxes stacked in a “storage room.”

The latest affidavit also states that an attorney representing Mr. Trump had “agreed to accept service of a grand jury subpoena” via email which had requested any and all documents bearing markings including “top secret,” “confidential,” and several other designations.

This produced, in June 2022, a “single Redweld envelope, wrapped in tape, containing documents,” which was revealed to have been found in the storage room of boxes.

The investigator learned from the attorney that all White House records were kept in boxes inside this storage room, and was permitted to see this room “and observed that approximately fifty to fifty-five boxes” remained, suggesting to the agent that several of the original 80 to 95 boxes provided to Mr. Trump had been relocated.

The envelope produced by the subpoena included 38 unique documents, including 5 marked confidential, 16 marked secret, and 17 marked top secret.

“Based on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI [national defense information]. Multiple documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS’s handwritten notes,” states the affidavit.

Security footage of the Mar-a-Lago storage room from four cameras was also subpoenaed and provided to FBI agents via hard drive in July 2022.

“However, other offices can also be entered from the ANTEROOM, so it might be possible for persons to enter the STORAGE ROOM from those other offices without being visible in the surveillance camera footage,” the affidavit reads.

The footage revealed someone leaving the anteroom with “approximately 64” boxes on several days between May and June 2022, returning only 25 to 30 of those boxes.

The Case

Last month, Mr. Trump was charged with 37 counts against him and pleaded not guilty to all 37. After his arraignment in New York in April, he gave a speech that same night at Mar-a-Lago.

The indictment was unsealed on June 9.

Charges include mishandling classified information and conspiracy of obstruction of all charges, with penalties of up to 20 years. If convicted of all charges, Mr. Trump could face up to 400 years in prison and fines of up to $9.5 million.

District Judge Aileen Cannon has set a trial date for Mr. Trump in August.

From The Epoch Times