The United States Justice Department moved to unseal the warrant used by federal agents to search former President Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida earlier this week.
In brief remarks on Aug. 11, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that the Justice Department has filed its request in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida “in light of the former President’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
The move is a departure from the Justice Department’s typical practice of staying silent while investigations are ongoing.
“The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing,” U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section head Jay Bratt wrote in the filing.
The request came amid increasing pressure from Trump’s Republican allies who denounced the search.
Garland defended the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from what he called “recent unfounded attacks.”
“The men and women of the FBI and the Justice Department are dedicated, patriotic public servants. Every day, they protect the American people from violent crime, terrorism, and other threats to their safety, while safeguarding our civil rights. They do so at great personal sacrifice and risk to themselves,” Garland said.
Garland noted that a federal court in South Florida authorized the search warrant “upon the required finding of probable cause” and revealed that he “personally” approved to seek the search warrant.
Sources confirmed that the search was connected to the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s handling of presidential records.
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