By George Miller, 8-26-22
Under great pressure and a court order from the Magistrate Judge who initially ordered the search, the U.S. Dept of Justice today released a 38 page heavily redacted version of the affidavit used to justify the wide ranging warrant used to raid and gather material from Donald Trump’s sprawling seaside Mar a Lago complex in Palm Beach.
They were not only looking for classified documents, but ANY of his presidential documents:
“a. Any physical documents with classification markings, along with any
containers/boxes (including any other contents) in which such documents are located, as
well as any other containers/boxes that are collectively stored or found together with the
aforementioned documents and containers/boxes;
b. Information, including communications in any form, regarding the
retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material;
c. Any government and/or Presidential Records created between January
20, 2017, and January 20, 2021; or
d. Any evidence of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of
any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification
The government claims Trump illegally took and possessed classified materials. The affidavit states that Trump returned 15 boxes of materials from his residence on January 18, 2021, which contained some highly classified material, that there was probable cause to believe he had more and that going there could also reveal some of the causes of obstruction.
They claim that the 15 boxes received on 1/18-21 and 12 more returned in December 2021 after multiple requests contained material with classification codes suggesting NDI (National Defense Information).
Trump claims he declassified the documents and that the government knew what he had and had even been there to examine them before and some were given back. He also said that the FBI took additional materials they had no right to, such as his passports, attorney-client protected materials and more. He claimed that he implemented recommended security procedures, but it seems that the FBI had little difficulty in accessing materials there.
Our understanding is that ex-Presidents retain top secret clearance for life, but that document possession/use and actual practice vary widely. Some say that is being used to nail Trump, while other ex-Presidents are not held to the same standard. Past Presidents, such as Obama and Clinton, have removed vast quantities of documents from the White House. Some have conducted large portions of their duties away from the White House, which would require sensitive documents. Presidential libraries hold vast quantities of documents.
The timing and theatrics of the raid could suggest that it might have been designed to affect elections and harm the feasibility and even possibility of Trump running for President in 2024 – 88 days before mid-term elections and approaching the time when presidential prospects lay the groundwork for their 2024 campaigns
We await statements from Trump and others on the matter. Here’s the first one:
We have seen quite a bit of opining and spinning already about the whole matter- and now the documents- so we thought we would make images of the actual documents available for examination by our intelligent, motivated readers to make up their own minds:
The original SEARCH WARRANT
There will likely be major haggling, propaganda/spin and litigation from all sides before this is over, if it ever is.
Per Judicial Watch, which was instrumental is securing the release:
“In a remarkable and historic victory for transparency, Judicial Watch today forced the release of the infamous and heavily redacted Trump raid affidavit. Now we know why the Biden Justice Department did not want to release this material, as it exposes how there was significant evidence of President Trump’s cooperation, a major legal dispute about the legal status of the records believed to be in Trump’s possession, and that the FBI abusively raided his home anyway. The Biden Justice Department’s dishonest redactions of the reasons for its redactions makes a mockery of the American people’s right to know the entire story about this FBI raid, which was a wild abuse of power by the Biden administration.”
-Judicial Watch, 8-26-22
Some more good articles on this:
Many MORE– good and bad
George Miller is Publisher and Co-Founder of Citizens Journal Florida, based in Fernandina Beach. He is a “retired” operations management consultant, software and publishing executive and manufacturing management professional.