Justice Department asks judge to keep Trump’s search warrant affidavit sealed, citing ongoing investigation
Federal prosecutors said the affidavit should remain sealed in order “to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security.”
Justice Department lawyers on Monday asked the judge who approved the search warrant for former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort to keep the accompanying affidavit under seal, citing a need to protect the ongoing investigation.
Federal prosecutors responded to inquiries from numerous news organizations, including NBC News, to make the affidavit public by arguing it should remain sealed “to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security.”
"Disclosure at this juncture of the affidavit supporting probable cause would, by contrast, cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation," U.S. attorney Juan Gonzalez and the Justice Department's counterintelligence and export control chief Jay Bratt wrote in Monday's court filing. "There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed."
The affidavit contains the government's reasonings for conducting the search of Trump's home. Trump allies on Capitol Hill and elsewhere are clamoring for the Justice Department to unseal the affidavit.
The request to keep the affidavit under wraps comes after a federal judge on Friday unsealed the search warrant that FBI agents used to seize documents from Trump's Palm Beach residence on Aug. 8.
Prosecutors on Monday said in their filing that the government didn't oppose unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant, documents that they said would not jeopardize the integrity of the investigation.
But they insisted that the affidavit contained "highly sensitive information about witnesses, including witnesses interviewed by the government; specific investigative techniques; and information required by law to be kept under seal."
"If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps," they wrote.