(DCWatchdog.com) – BREAKING NOW: In a development that has shocked criminal law experts because of how rarely it happens, the federal magistrate judge who issued the Mar-a-Lago search warrant has issued a formal ruling stating that at this time, he intends to unseal and make a significant portion of the search warrant affidavit public because of the unprecedented nature of the search.
As National Review frames what has happened today:
“A federal magistrate judge formally rejected the Justice Department’s bid to keep the affidavit leading to the FBI raid of Trump’s personal residence at Mar-a-Lago completely sealed, noting the ‘unprecedented’ nature of the search and the ‘intense public and historical interest.’
“U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed off on the initial search warrant for the raid, issued a 13-page ruling on Monday morning finding the DOJ had not provided a strong enough argument for ‘keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.'” [emphasis added]
In one significant portion of his ruling, the judge wrote:
“The Government argues that even requiring it to redact portions of the Affidavit that could not reveal agent identities or investigative sources and methods imposes an undue burden on its resources and sets a precedent that could be disruptive and burdensome in future cases. I do not need to reach the question of whether, in some other case, these concerns could justify denying public access; they very well might.”
One criminal law expert with experience in national security cases said he expects the government will appeal the judge’s decision if, in the view of prosecutors, the judge attempts to make public more of the affidavit than the prosecutors are comfortable with at this point of their investigation.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS ITEM FROM THE DC WATCHDOG.
What is your opinion? Do you believe the judge should unseal the search warrant affidavit so the public can see the government’s basis for the search of Mar-a-Lago? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts and views by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.