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Trump asks court to unseal search warrant affidavit in documents probe

Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked a federal court in Florida to provide him and his lawyers with a complete version of the affidavit that federal investigators used to obtain a search warrant for his Florida property in August.

November 23, 2022
23 November 2022

Nov 22 (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump on
Tuesday asked a federal court in Florida to provide him and his
lawyers with a complete version of the affidavit that federal
investigators used to obtain a search warrant for his Florida
property in August.

Prosecutors are conducting a criminal probe into the
retention of government records at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort
after his presidency ended.

The request to unseal the search warrant affidavit was made
to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida.

A redacted version of the affidavit was made public in
August after media organizations sought its release, with
sections blacked out that prosecutors said should remain secret.

The Justice Department said the redactions included
information from “a broad range of civilian witnesses” as well
as investigative techniques that, if disclosed, could reveal how
to obstruct the probe.

Trump’s lawyers told the court on Tuesday that he must be
able to review the full affidavit “and determine whether the
Fourth Amendment was respected, intentionally subverted, or
recklessly violated by a DOJ bent on getting its nose under the
Mar-a-Lago tent.”

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution involves
unreasonable search and seizure. Trump, a Republican, has
accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Joe
Biden of conducting a political witch hunt.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed a
special counsel, Jack Smith, to preside over criminal probes
involving the former president after Trump announced he would
run for president again.

A federal appeals court later on Tuesday will hear arguments
on whether an outside arbiter appointed by Cannon should be
allowed to continue a review of documents seized in the search
and determine whether any of the records should be kept from
criminal investigators.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington and Jacqueline
Thomsen in Swampscott, Massachusetts; Editing by David Bario and
Howard Goller)

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