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State attorney responds to U.S. Magistrate judge's written orders on Mar-a-Lago affidavit

WPBF West Palm Beach logo WPBF West Palm Beach 8/22/2022
Mar-a-Lago © Provided by WPBF West Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago

State leaders respond to U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart's written order on Monday morning about possibly unsealing the affidavit into former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

"It’s a terrible idea to release this information in advance, especially before anyone has even been charged in this matter," State Attorney Dave Aronberg told WPBF 25 News.

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The written document essentially put into writing the decision that was made last week. The federal judge requested the Department of Justice to submit any documents on possible redactions, should he decide to unseal the affidavit.

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"I was surprised that Merrick Garland, the Attorney General, released the search warrant and the inventory. That’s more than any prosecutor really releases in a case like this. This is an unusual manner, but to release the affidavit would be a bridge too far," Aronberg said.

It's an ongoing battle between the media and the public's request to see all probable cause affidavits. The DOJ, however, argues that releasing such information will jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

On August 8th, FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified documents from the former president's residence in Palm Beach. Officials say what was obtained may link to the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and criminal handling of government records.

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"If you’re anticipating that you’re going to get the sources or the evidence that was compiled, I think you have to wait a lot longer," Aronberg said.

The former president had taken to social media, pushing for the public release of these documents.

"Former President Trump does not want this affidavit released. The way I know that is that his lawyers did not argue in court for it to be released. So even though he says on social media, ‘release it,’ his lawyers really tell the story because his lawyers were in court and said nothing," Aronberg said.

The state attorney said that releasing more details could put sources at risk, tip off suspects and allow witnesses to be tampered with.

"Prosecutors have a different set of rules than politicians. And transparency for prosecutors is limited by the law, by the Constitution. We can’t talk about pending cases like politicians can," Aronberg said.

The deadline for DOJ to submit these documents on possible redactions is Thursday at 12 p.m.

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