The newly released Department of Justice (DOJ) affidavit seeking the search warrant for the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home is heavily redacted, and photos of the blacked-out lines on the document are circulating across social media, generating mockery.
According to the affidavit, the DOJ apparently determined that classified information had not been stored properly and that there could be more at Trump’s Florida residence, basing this assessment on a review of 15 boxes the former president handed over to the feds voluntarily.
“The FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials contained in the FIFTEEN BOXES and were stored at the PREMISES in an unauthorized location,” the affidavit reads, explaining that the feds had concerns that the documents were disorganized:
[A] preliminary review of the FIFTEEN BOXES indicated that they contained “newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post- presidential records, and ‘a lot ofclassified [sic] records.’ Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”
However, much of the document is redacted, remaining under seal “in order to protect the safety of multiple civilian witnesses.” The “five categories” of information cited as the reasons for this did not include national security, as Breitbart News reported. The document reads in part:
The categories, described further below, are (1) information from a broad range of civilian witnesses who may be subject to “witness intimidation or retaliation,” D.E. 80 at 9; (2) information regarding investigative avenues and techniques that could provide a roadmap for potential ways to obstruct the investigation, id. at 9-10; (3) information whose disclosure is prohibited under Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (“Rule 6(e)”), such as grand jury subpoenas, testimony, and related material, id. at 10; (4) information whose disclosure could risk the safety of law enforcement personnel, id. at 9; and (5) information _whose disclosure could harm “legitimate privacy interests” of third parties.
Images of the redactions have taken off on social media.
“Well this really clears things up,” Donald Trump Jr. said, posting an image of the redacted document as others did the same:
Well this really clears things up. pic.twitter.com/6S2FxIQtSi
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 26, 2022
This is the government’s memo explaining the reason they had to make redactions the Affidavit explaining why they raided a former president’s home.
As you can see, it explains so much. pic.twitter.com/KNs8KbROAn
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) August 26, 2022
This is way too much redaction. Revealing a source or a method is the only reason to redact. This is done by redacting words not paragraphs.
Intel agencies have created a crisis of confidence. https://t.co/Ejs92s8YJh
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 26, 2022
So the affidavit is the Redaction of all Redactions
Total waste of time and energy to release
The whole sordid tale of this abuse of power is still hiddenhttps://t.co/gen18BOW6L
What a Freakin’ Joke! pic.twitter.com/4YKBCLPZz0
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) August 26, 2022
The FBI gets the law wrong. As the DOJ releases a blacked out affidavit they prove the hoax being leveled against Pres. Trump is real. See the redactions here. It’s another DOJ sham! #affidavit #maralago #trump #doj #maga #trump2024 pic.twitter.com/NHNAn2UrOg
— Grant Stinchfield (@stinchfield1776) August 26, 2022
mUh ReaL rEAsOnS fOr ThE rAId aRe BeHiND tHe rEdAcTIoNs.
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) August 26, 2022
“Affidavit heavily redacted!!!” Trump exclaimed in a TruthSocial post.
“Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH. Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home,” he said.
“He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me. What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!” Trump added, later posting, “WITCH HUNT!!!”