Judge Bruce Reinhart in a filing on Monday morning announced that formally he rejects “the Government’s argument that the present record justifies keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
“The Government argues that even requiring it to redact portions of the Affidavit that could not reveal agent identities or investigative sources and methods imposes an undue burden on its resources and sets a precedent that could be disruptive and burdensome in future cases,” Reinhart wrote. “I do not need to reach the question of whether, in some other case, these concerns could justify denying public access; they very well might.”
“Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing,” he added.
This is a stinging rebuke for a Biden administration that was relying on the Florida judge, who is himself an Obama donor, to provide the Department of Justice with political cover for the FBI’s “unprecedented” raid on the former president. If a law enforcement action is “unprecedented,” there is a higher probability that it was unlawful from a judicial point-of-view.
It remains to be seen how much of the search warrant affidavit will be redacted, as the judge previously gave the Department of Justice until Thursday to submit its advised redactions for the document out of argued national security concerns.
“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that by the deadline, the Government shall file under seal a submission addressing possible redactions and providing any additional evidence or legal argument that the Government believes relevant to the pending Motions to Unseal,” the motion stated.” (Read more: BeckerNews, 8/22/2022) (Archive) (Reinhart Orders On Motion to Unseal)