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Officials set to make public sealed Trump search warrant

Published : Friday, 12 August, 2022 at 11:07 PM  Count : 1424

Officials set to make public sealed Trump search warrant

Officials set to make public sealed Trump search warrant


US justice officials were poised Friday to make public a sealed warrant explaining the unprecedented raid on Donald Trump's Florida estate that triggered accusations of political persecution by the former president and his supporters.

The 76-year-old Trump supported the release of the search warrant, although he has had a copy of the document for days and could have revealed its contents himself previously.

The search on Monday was believed to be focused on classified papers Trump may have removed from the White House, with one report suggesting they included documents related to nuclear weapons.

The highly unusual move to unseal the search warrant and the receipt listing the property seized by FBI agents was announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland -- the country's top law enforcement officer -- who said he had "personally approved" the dramatic raid on Trump's Mar-a-Largo resort home, AFP reports.

The Republican former president and his legal team have until 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) Friday to oppose Garland's court request if they so choose. But in overnight social media posts Trump insisted he was actively encouraging making them public.

"Release the documents now!" he wrote on his Truth Social platform, as he slammed the raid on his home as a "political weaponization of law enforcement."

Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, said Garland had "called Trump's bluff" by putting the onus on the former president to object or consent to release of the document.

The Justice Department motion to unseal the warrant noted -- and did not dispute -- statements by Trump's representatives that the FBI was seeking presidential records and potential classified material.

According to US media, the search related to potential mishandling of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House in January 2021.

The Washington Post on Thursday cited anonymous sources close to the investigation as saying classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the papers sought by FBI agents during the raid.

Trump himself appeared to deny the claim, posting that the "nuclear weapons issue is a hoax" and suggesting the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have been "planting information" at his home.



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