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Justice Dept. opposes release of Mar-a-Lago affidavit

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Media outlets have asked a judge to unseal the document, which likely offers more detail about the decision to search former president Donald Trump’s residence.
The Justice Department asked a judge Monday to keep sealed the sworn affidavit underpinning last week’s extraordinary FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, a document believed to hold key details about the government’s investigation into the potential mishandling of classified materials.
Monday’s court filing was made in response to requests from multiple media outlets, including The , seeking the affidavit’s public release. Law enforcement officials submit such documents to a judge as part of their application for a search warrant. Affidavits typically contain information addressing why authorities believe there is evidence at a certain property and other details about an investigation, including sometimes the identities of witnesses.
The Justice Department argued that releasing the affidavit could hamper its investigation and potentially harm those involved.
“Even when the public is already aware of the general nature of the investigation, revealing the specific contents of a search warrant affidavit could alter the investigation’s trajectory, reveal ongoing and future investigative efforts, and undermine agents’ ability to collect evidence or obtain truthful testimony,” the 13-page filing states. “In addition to the implications for the investigation, the release of this type of investigative material could have ‘devastating consequences’ for the reputations and rights of individuals whose actions and statements are described.”
Trump and other Republicans have claimed the search was politically motivated. The former president has lashed out at law enforcement in response and suggested the FBI planted evidence, though he has not offered information to support those claims.

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