Justice Department asks not to disclose affidavit behind Mar-a-Lago search

August 25, 2022

The US Justice Department has asked a judge not to release the affidavit that gave the FBI probable cause to search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, worsening distrust among top Trump aides casting about for any insight into the intensifying criminal investigation surrounding the former president. The affidavit should not be unsealed because that could reveal the scope of the investigation into Trump’s unauthorized retention of government secrets, the Justice Department argued, days after the Mar-a-Lago search warrant showed it referenced potential violations of three criminal statutes. In arguing against unsealing the affidavit, the justice department also said that the disclosure could harm its ability to gain cooperation from witnesses not only in the Mar-a-Lago investigation but also additional ones that would appear to touch on the former president. The justice department declined to comment on the investigation or Monday’s request. It remains unclear whether the FBI relied on confidential informants, and the Guardian first reported that the search came in part because the justice department grew concerned that classified materials remained at Mar-a-Lago as a result of interactions with Trump’s lawyers.