(FORT PIERCE, Fla.) — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked a federal district judge in Florida to demand the Justice Department hand over an unredacted version of an affidavit used to justify the August search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
In their request to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who has repeatedly given deference to Trump’s attorneys in their arguments for the seized documents to be handed over to a special master, they argue Trump has a right to the full affidavit in order to assess whether his constitutional rights have been violated.
The filing repeatedly accuses the Justice Department and FBI as responsible for leaking details on what motivated their decision to conduct the extraordinary search, and also faults Attorney General Merrick Garland for his comments at a news conference in which he said the department would be moving for the unsealing of the search warrant given to Trump’s attorneys at the time of the raid.
The Justice Department has previously stated its objection to unsealing further portions of the affidavit, citing a need to protect the safety of witnesses who have cooperated or may provide future cooperation with their investigation — as well as protecting other investigative methods they have undertaken.
They further argue that DOJ’s concerns about Trump disclosing details from the affidavit if it is handed over aren’t warranted because a protective order prevents them from disclosing its details to any outside parties.
It’s unclear when Judge Cannon might respond to their motion — but the timing is notable given DOJ and Trump’s attorneys are set to appear Tuesday afternoon to argue before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on a motion from DOJ to have Cannon’s appointment of special master Raymond Dearie dismissed entirely.
If the federal appeals court panel grants DOJ’s request, it would also effectively eliminate Cannon’s involvement in matters involving the Mar-a-Lago search, including deciding on this 11th-hour request from Trump’s legal team.
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