WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department disclosed some of them on Wednesday previously blackened parts a warrant application filed last year to obtain authorization to search former President Donald Trump’s Florida home for classified documents.
Substantial parts of the document had already been released, but media organizations including The Associated Press had pushed for it in the face of yet another unsealing 38 counts in the last month Charges against Trump and his servant Walt Nauta for hiding confidential documents from investigators in Mar-a-Lago. Judge Bruce Reinhart declined to order the Justice Department to fully unseal the search warrant affidavit, but required prosecutors to publicly file a less redacted affidavit.
Many of the newly revealed paragraphs reported how security camera footage from inside the property showed dozens of boxes being moved in the days before FBI and Justice Department investigators visited the home to gather records. During that visit on June 3, 2022, police officers were given an envelope containing 38 classified documents and told that all documents requested under a subpoena would be handed over and that a “careful search” of the home had been carried out.
Nauta’s movement of the boxes was detailed in last month’s indictment, but their inclusion in the search warrant affidavit helps explain why the Justice Department felt it had a probable cause to steal Trump’s home on Aug. 8, 2022 to search, and why investigators had concerns about these documents were deliberately withheld from them.
The affidavit reports how someone identified only as “Witness 5” was seen carrying cardboard boxes or bank boxes in and out of the anteroom for several days. The affidavit does not identify Nauta by name, but dates of the killings — as well as an FBI interview “in which the location of the boxes was a key subject of interrogation” — match dates given in the indictment.
Nauta is scheduled to be charged in federal court in Miami on Thursday. Trump has already pleaded not guilty to more than three dozen counts of criminal offenses, many of them alleging willful withholding of national defense information.