Judge Bruce Reinhart on Monday admitted the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was “unprecedented” and formally rejected the Justice Department’sargument to keep the affidavit leading to the search under seal, citing the “intense public and historical interest.”
Reinhart, in a filing Monday morning, said he rejects “the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
“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,” Reinhart wrote. “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.”
He added: “Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing.”
Reinhart said he has given the Justice Department an “opportunity to propose redaction,” something he granted last week, giving the government a deadline of Thursday, Aug. 25 at noon.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that by the deadline, the Government shall file under seal a submission addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal,” the motion states.
Reinhart, during a highly anticipated hearing in the West Palm Beach Division of Florida last Thursday, said that the entire affidavit should not be kept under seal, despite the Justice Department’s argument that the release would jeopardize future steps in the investigation and provide a “roadmap” for the probe.