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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley discussed what should be expected in the redacted affidavit that was used to obtain the FBI’s search warrant for its raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Thursday said he would release at least a portion of it.
JONATHAN TURLEY: I’m a little surprised that he felt that he should be the one to sign off on the warrant and review the affidavit. As for sending it back to the DOJ, I think that was an appropriate order. You know, many of us expected that he would just defer to the Department of Justice. A lot of judges do that, even though the Department of Justice has a long record of using these arguments to prevent disclosures even to criminal defendants. The problem is that the Department of Justice is rather notorious for using redactions, and they have sort of a perverse incentive here. If they over redact, it’s more likely the judge will disagree, which means that they can go on appeal and delay any release further.
So they have a rather odd incentive that the more they redact, the more likely they can get more time. But we will have to see if this judge is willing to go mano a mano with the Department of Justice and say, look, this is excessive. I’ve said all along that I believe portions of this affidavit could be released without undermining the investigation. Not because I’ve seen the affidavit, but I’ve seen lots of other affidavits. Much of an affidavit involves material that will not necessarily compromise an investigation. And one of the things we’re most interested in is the information that’s already known to the Trump team, that is that period of communications between from June until that raid. What did they tell the court happened in those communications? Did they faithfully report that there was cooperation, according to the Trump team, and that all other avenues had been exhausted? That’s the type of information you should be able to give in a redacted affidavit.
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This article was written by Fox News staff.