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Search warrant at Trump’s home was for nuclear documents, among other items: report

by Aug 12, 2022Local News

A raid at former President Trump’s Florida residence sought to recover classified documents relating to nuclear weapons among other items, according to an exclusive report in the Washington Post  published Thursday night.

The story cited anonymous sources described as “people familiar with the investigation.” The article  also quoted experts in classified information who said the search underscores the deep concern by government officials about the types of information located at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and the possibility it could fall into the wrong hands.

It remained unclear whether FBI agents were able to recover the documents about nuclear weapons that they were seeking.

The development came hours after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was asking the court to unseal the warrant the FBI used to search Trump’s home Monday and break into his safe.

Trump announced that his home had been searched, and he and other Republican leaders seized on the law enforcement action to criticize the FBI, and White House administration, saying the search was out of line.

But critics pushed back that Trump could share a copy of the warrant to allow the public to decide whether it was out of line or not. Trump has not publicly shown the document.

Garland took action Thursday to share the information with the public, acknowledging extraordinary public interest in the case about classified records.

His request is striking because such documents traditionally remain sealed during a pending investigation. But the Justice Department appeared to recognize that its silence since the search had created a vacuum for bitter verbal attacks by Trump and his allies, and that the public was entitled to the FBI’s side about what prompted Monday’s action at the former president’s home.

“The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing,” said a motion filed in federal court in Florida on Thursday.

Should the warrant be released — the request is now with the judge, and Trump can object — it could disclose unflattering information about the former president and about FBI scrutiny of his handling of sensitive government documents right as he prepares for another run for the White House.

During his successful 2016 campaign, he pointed frequently to an FBI investigation into his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton,over whether she mishandled classified information.

It’s unclear at this point how much information would be included in the documents, if made public, or if they would encompass an FBI affidavit that would presumably lay out a detailed factual basis for the search. The department specifically requested the unsealing of the warrant as well as a property receipt listing the items that were seized, along with two unspecified attachments.

To obtain a search warrant, federal authorities must prove to a judge that probable cause exists to believe that a crime was committed. Garland said he personally approved the warrant, a decision he said the department did not take lightly given that standard practice where possible is to select less intrusive tactics than a search of one’s home.

The Justice Department has until Friday afternoon to alert the judge about whether Trump will object to the release.

Report: FBI searched Trump’s home for documents relating to nuclear weapons

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