- US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed the warrant allowing the FBI to search former Pres. Trump's Fla. home, on Thurs. ordered the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) to redact and release a version of the affidavit used to obtain the warrant.
- Reinhart's order comes after several media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press, and Washington Post, pushed for the affidavit's release.
- Though the DOJ argued unsealing the affidavit could jeopardize the investigation in its "early stages," Reinhart said, "I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing the entire affidavit should remain sealed."
- The affidavit's signatories, DOJ counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt and US Attorney for the Southern Dist. of Fla. Juan Gonzalez, said revealing witness's names could hurt prosecutors' efforts of getting them and others to cooperate, as well as put their safety at risk.
- Along with the affidavit, which is to be given to Reinhart by Aug. 25, the judge also ordered the unsealment of documents including the application for the warrant, the motion to seal the affidavit, and the cover sheet.
- Reinhart said he would "give the government a full and fair opportunity" to redact the affidavit, adding that he would order the public release if he agrees with the redactions and hold a closed-door hearing if not.
- Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by Federalist. The DOJ and Biden admin. have weaponized law enforcement resources against their political opponents. The DOJ's desire to not release the affidavit once again makes it clear it's not working in public interest but rather to tarnish the reputation of Trump and his supporters as the midterm elections near.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by Common Dreams. The last thing Trump's defenders should want is for the affidavit to go public because it likely contains evidence that will bury him. Releasing a redacted version, however, might be wise to calm the former president's supporters and prove the DOJ isn't acting politically.