DOJ filing opposing unseal affidavit related to Mar-a-Lago search warrant

This afternoon the Department of Justice filed a response to several motions to unseal the affidavit it used to convince a judge to issue a search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.

The DOJ opposes unsealing the affidavit, arguing that it has “a compelling, overriding interest in preserving the integrity of an ongoing criminal investigation.” It also notes that the affidavit includes “highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e).” FRCP 6(e) relates to secrecy for ongoing grand jury proceedings. The DOJ’s filing also confirms that its ongoing investigation “implicates national security.”

The DOJ also argues that the affidavit cannot be unsealed in a redacted form because the redactions would be so extensive “as to render the document devoid of content that would meaningfully enhance the public’s understanding of these events beyond the information already now in the public record.” It does not, however, object to releasing cover sheets associated with the warrant application, the government’s motion to seal, and the court’s sealing order, other than minor redactions — and has already submitted to the court a separate filing containing those items that the judge could immediately approve for unsealing.

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