OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The Department of Justice has asked a judge to keep the affidavit for the search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence sealed.
News organizations have requested the affidavit but, on Monday, the Justice Department argued in a court filing to keep it sealed “to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security,” NBC News reported.
It argued that the affidavit contains “highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal.”
“Disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would…cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation,” U.S. Attorney Juan Gonzalez and the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control chief, Jay Bratt, said.
The fact that the Department of Justice called it an “ongoing criminal investigation” is startling.
The former president responded on his Truth Social account and he was furious.
“There is no way to justify the unannounced RAID of Mar-a-Lago, the home of the 45th President of the United States (who got more votes, by far, than any sitting President in the history of our Country!), by a very large number of gun toting FBI Agents, and the Department of ‘Justice’ but, in the interest of TRANSPARENCY, I call for the immediate release of the completely Unredacted Affidavit pertaining to this horrible and shocking BREAK-IN. Also, the Judge on this case should recuse!” he said.
One of the personal attorneys for former President Donald Trump is demanding to know why the judge who signed the warrant to search his private house had recused himself from a lawsuit against 2016 Democrat Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton.
The attorney, Alina Habba, said that this judge recused himself from the former president’s lawsuit against Clinton this year when she spoke to Fox News host Jesse Watters on Friday, The Daily Mail reported.
“They needed a little drama, so they throw this out there. They go to the judge that had recused himself in my Hillary case a month ago,” she said.
“I would like to know why he recused himself in that case, but then he was able to sign this warrant. I want to know that,” she said.
It was on June 22 when Judge Bruce W. Reinhart recused himself from the Trump lawsuit against Clinton.
Then, six weeks later, the same judge signed the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago.
What could have been the reason the judge would have felt the need to recuse himself from the Trump lawsuit against Clinton but not on the Trump warrant?
And it gets more interesting.
In his recusal, the judge said: “The undersigned Magistrate Judge, to whom the above-styled cause has been assigned, hereby recuses himself and refers the case to the Clerk of Court for reassignment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455.”
The code he referred to says, “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
Another attorney for former President Donald Trump has spoken on what she witnessed during the raid of his Florida home by the FBI.
His attorney, Lindsey Halligan, spoke with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday and warned that the search was more concerning than the former president being targeted.
“So I arrived around 11:00 a.m. and there were about 30-40 FBI agents that I saw, either of which were wearing suits, the rest were in cargo pants, masks, and gloves. And they basically had unfettered access to the property. They refused to talk to me. They refused to let me in. All I knew is that they were searching areas one, two, and three, which I understood to be the former president’s bedroom, his office, and a storage room. And other than that, we were not allowed to talk to them or go inside at all,” she said.
“That’s the thing. They had unfettered access to the property. They looked at god knows what in there and did god knows what in there. We have no idea. What the FBI did was an appalling display of abuse of power. All documents requested were previously handed over. President Trump and his team painstakingly reviewed every single document at Mar-a-Lago and gave the government what they requested. If they needed any other documents, they could have just asked. And the warrant was secured under seal, so they tried to get away with concealing this overreach by obtaining a warrant under seal. Nobody knew about it,” the attorney said.
“They knew that President Trump was in Bedminster and hasn’t been at Mar-a-Lago for some time. They thought they could sneak in, snoop around without attorneys present and in case they walked out with nothing, so nobody would know that they overreached this degree. It’s unprecedented in United States history. The government seems to be out of control. It’s plagued with manipulation, corruption, greed, and fraud,” she said.