The U.S. Department of Justice has chosen to move to officially unseal more documents in relation to the raid on former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida but has made the odd choice to not unseal the underlying FBI affidavit because it says that the release of that document will hinder a currently ongoing criminal investigation.
U.S. Attorney Juan Gonzalez and Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt expressed via a court filing that the unsealing of that particular affidavit would also end up causing damage to the national security of the U.S.
“Disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would, by contrast, cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation,” explained Bratt in a release. “If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps.”
Bratt also warned that the unsealing of said affidavit would run the risk of unveiling the identities of key witnesses who could then choose to not be cooperative in the investigation or “other high-profile investigations.”
“The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential for harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly,” he stated.
Bratt also claimed that investigators do not stand against the unsealing of any other materials in relation to the raid itself that have not already been released, which may need to first be gone over for minor redactions, including cover sheets speaking out about the search warrant application and other documents.
Federal investigators were able to recover at least 4 different sets of documents labeled as top secret, 3 sets labeled as secret documents, 3 sets labeled as confidential documents as part of their search, which was authorized by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Various sources stated to The New York Times that at least one person from Trump’s legal team signed a written statement to the U.S. Department of Justice over this past summer that made the claim that all classified documents and boxes that had been stored in the storage area on the premises had been returned to the federal government. Agents went through the storage area, along with Trump’s office and residence, on the property.
This signed declaration, along with the total of 11 sets of classified documents that were found on the property, could end up meaning that either Trump or his legal team could find themselves in hot water over lying to federal investigators