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Lawmakers are outraged at the heavy redactions in the much-anticipated affidavit used to justify this month’s raid on former President Trump’s residence.
Florida Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart unsealed a redacted affidavit Friday that the FBI used to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.
“So much for transparency,” Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop wrote on social media following the documents’ release.
Approximately 20 pages of the 38-page affidavit were either significantly or fully redacted.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit states.
The FBI said it had “probable cause to believe” that additional records containing classified information, including National Defense Information, would be found on the premises of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home beyond what he had previously turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration, according to the unsealed and heavily-redacted affidavit used to justify the raid released Friday.
“This is unacceptable,” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona. “The American public deserves more transparency.”
Even the reasons for the document’s redaction are themselves redacted.
One passage of the affidavit attempts to list reasons to keep portions of text blacked out, itself completely blacked out.
“These concerns are particularly compelling in this case. As explained in the affadavit,” page 9 of the affidavit begins. The following text is then blacked out with redactions for 17 straight lines before continuing, “In short, the government has well-founded concerns that steps may be taken to frustrate or otherwise interfere with this investigation if facts in the affidavit were prematurely disclosed.