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Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked a Florida federal court to provide him with the original version of the affidavit with which the FBI justified the search warrant it carried out last August at his Mar-a-Lago residence, during which classified material was seized.
“Plaintiff should be provided with an unredacted copy of the search warrant affidavit so that these issues can be determined by the Court,” reads a motion filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida court to which EFE had access.
Among the arguments made by Trump’s lawyers is a review of the “unredacted” affidavit to see if the procedure violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“Courts in this and other judicial districts have recognized that an individual who has been subjected to a search has an even greater right to judicial records than the general public,” the motion argues.
It also argues that the original affidavit becomes even more necessary in this case “given the extraordinary circumstances here, which involve a marked departure from the way other presidents have been treated.”
An edited and blacked-out version of the affidavit was made public in late August after media organizations requested its release.
In August, as part of an ongoing investigation into Trump, FBI agents searched the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, his residence in Florida’s Palm Beach, and found a significant number of documents, some labeled “top secret,” “secret” or “classified.”
The former Republican president (2017-2021) responded with a lawsuit in Palm Beach against the Department of Justice, a case that fell to Aileen Cannon, a Colombian-born judge appointed precisely by Trump when he was in the White House.
Cannon agreed to Trump’s request for an independent expert witness to oversee the official documents recovered at his residence, a task to be undertaken by veteran federal judge Raymond Dearie.
Last Friday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate former President Donald Trump for his possible involvement in the assault on the Capitol, as well as for the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
Garland did not expressly cite Trump, but he did make clear that the investigation will address the possible implications of those who instigated the January 6, 2021 assault on the Capitol, as well as documents found during an FBI search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.
The special prosecutor appointed by Garland is Jack Smith of New York, who will conduct “certain proceedings in the Southern District of Florida and elsewhere, including the investigation that led to this case,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Antonio Gonzalez notified the court Tuesday.
Trump, 76, announced last week from Florida his intention to run in the 2024 election to return to the White House.