Yesterday morning, prosecutors in Florida submitted a redacted version of the affidavit in support of the warrant executed at the former president’s Florida golf club on August 8. US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart wasted no time, approving the suggested redactions and ordering the document unsealed as of noon today.
“I find that the Government has met its burden of showing a compelling reason/good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit because disclosure would reveal (1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, (2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and (3) grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e),” he wrote. This would be an unsubtle reference to the cacophony of threats faced by FBI agents on this case after Trump supporters doxxed them on the former president’s social media platform, with the apparent approval of his lawyer, Alina Habba, who demands to know the names of witnesses and promises “mayhem” if Trump is charged with a crime.
It appears that the the court approved all of the prosecutors’ proposed redactions.
“Based on my independent review of the Affidavit, I further find that the Government has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit,” he added.
So does this mean that we’ll get the goods today?
Eh, probably not, considering how hard the government fought to avoid revealing any part of this document.
But, if the affidavit is a dud, at least we’ll get some delicious Friday afternoon fun from Team Trump, which was ordered by US District Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday to go back and turn its “Merrick Hates Me” Motion into something resembling a legal document:
The Court is in receipt of 1 Plaintiff’s Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief. To facilitate appropriate resolution, on or before August 26, 2022, Plaintiff shall file a supplement to the Motion further elaborating on the following: (1) the asserted basis for the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction, whether legal, equitable/anomalous, or both; (2) the framework applicable to the exercise of such jurisdiction; (3) the precise relief sought, including any request for injunctive relief pending resolution of the Motion; (4) the effect, if any, of the proceeding before Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart; and (5) the status of Plaintiff’s efforts to perfect service on Defendant.
What are the odds that Trump’s crackerjack legal team will have turned that inchoate chorus of monkeys on meth into something which makes a rational legal document, grounded in law, and seeking a particular remedy which should be granted by Judge Cannon, as opposed to Judge Reinhart?
Probably about as high as us getting to see the entire affidavit with zero redactions, right?
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.
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