U.S. attorney general says DOJ asked for public release of search warrant for Trump estate


WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice has moved to release the search warrant a federal judge issued earlier this week that allowed federal agents to enter former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.  

Merrick Garland
 U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (Demetrius Freeman-Pool | Getty Images)


DOJ, Garland said, filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt, which details items taken. The motion says that Trump, who issued a public statement about the search, and his lawyers should have an opportunity to object to the DOJ proposal.

“The Department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter,” Garland said during a brief press conference, declining to take any questions. 

Garland’s comments echoed the department’s motion itself, which cited the public interest in the matter and that Trump had already publicized the search. Further secrecy was therefore unneeded, the department said Thursday in a four-page brief.

Copies of the warrant and the FBI property receipt, Garland said, were given to Trump’s counsel, who was on site during the search.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart gave Trump’s attorneys until Friday at 3 p.m. ET to respond to the government’s motion.

The search of Trump’s property by the FBI has infuriated many Republican lawmakers, who have criticized federal law enforcement for confiscating the documents as well as Garland for not being more public about the investigation. 

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