The original story told through the media was that the FBI raid was about retrieving documents that the National Archives wanted in its custody. As I wrote at the time, that wasn’t the reason, that was the pretext.
And AG Garland is admitting as much by trying to keep the affidavit classified after agreeing to declassify the search warrant.
The Justice Department said in court documents Monday that it opposes the release of the FBI affidavit used to justify the search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s primary residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Because the documents are classified? Nope.
In Monday’s filing, prosecutors indicated that the affidavit contained sensitive information regarding the testimony of witnesses in the investigation, adding later they feared that releasing the requested documents would “chill” the future testimony of other potential witnesses.
While the Justice Department did not oppose the release of the search warrant last week, the department argued Monday in a court filing to the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida that the affidavit should remain sealed “to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security.”
The investigation isn’t about returning documents. It’s about maintaining their informants and keeping a political investigation going.
But while the Justice Department has “carefully considered whether the affidavit can be released subject to redactions,” it said in Monday’s court filing that “the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.”
That is some statement. Everything has to be kept secret, not because it’s classified information being kept hidden from the enemy, but because it’s being kept secret from the target of its investigation, Trump and his associates.
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,” the department wrote in its filing.
It’s all about the next steps. The raid was a means, not an end, to gather material for a political witch hunt by the Biden administration.
Justice Department officials have defended the Mar-a-Lago search as a necessary step approved by Mr. Garland himself. People familiar with the Justice Department’s approach have said a primary goal of the search was to ensure the security of highly sensitive national-security documents after the Trump team didn’t relinquish them and amid concerns that the security of the material at Mar-a-Lago had been put at risk.
Justice Department officials have just admitted that’s a bunch of lies.