Judge orders unsealing of redacted affidavit in Mar-A Lago search

WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge on Thursday ordered the Justice Department to make public a redacted version of the affidavit it relied on when federal agents searched the Florida estate of former President Donald Trump to look for classified documents.

The directive from U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart came hours after federal law enforcement submitted under seal the portions of the affidavit that they want to keep secret as their investigation moves forward.

The judge said the department must file its redacted version by noon Friday. The redactions proposed by the department are likely to be extensive, so it’s not clear how much new information about the investigation will be revealed.

Reinhart had given the department until Thursday at noon to propose to him the redactions to the affidavit it wanted to make before any portion of it was released to the public. But he acknowledged Monday that it was possible that the redactions, or blacked-out portions, would be so extensive as to leave the public version of the document without any meaningful information.

The affidavit is likely to contain key information about the FBI’s basis for executing a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach on Aug. 8. Documents already made public as part of the investigation show that the FBI retrieved from the property 11 sets of classified documents, including information marked at the top secret level.

The documents also showed that the FBI was investigating the “willful retention of national defense information,” the concealment or removal of government records and obstruction of a federal investigation.

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