Judge orders Justice Department to redact and release version of affidavit used to search Trump’s home

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge on Thursday ordered the government to draft and ultimately release a version of the highly sensitive warrant affidavit that was used to justify a search by the FBI on last week at former President Donald J. Trump’s private home and club.

Ruling from the bench, the judge, Bruce E. Reinhart, said there were parts of the affidavit that “presumably could be discounted.”

“Whether those parts would make sense to the public or the media,” he added, was not for him to decide.

Judge Reinhart’s surprising decision marked a middle ground between the Justice Department, which wanted to keep the affidavit completely secret while it continued its investigation into Mr. Trump, and a group of news organizations, who requested that it be published in its entirety. to the public

Affidavits, written and sworn to by federal agents before a search is conducted, contain detailed information about criminal investigations and are almost always sealed until charges are filed.

As part of his ruling, Judge Reinhart ordered the government to send him under seal the proposed wording of the order’s affidavit by noon next Thursday. He said he will review the suggestions and decide if he agrees.

“This will be a considered and careful process,” Judge Reinhart said.

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