A police siren in red white and blue.

“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland on how the FBI got approval to search the personal estate of former Pres. Trump.

Published on

aug 12, 2022

  • Why It Matters: The AG announced a special request to release the warrant to the public — which would expose the reason behind the unprecedented search AND a receipt of what was taken. This would fill in a major missing piece of the story behind how this search happened and why.
  • President Trump confirmed the search on Monday evening. The announcement by the DOJ came roughly 72 hours later; AG Garland's comments are the most significant on record from the Dept. of Justice on this topic to date. A federal judge would need to decide to unseal the warrant, and Pres. Trump could object.
  • Something To Consider: In order to obtain a warrant, the Dept. of Justice had to provide some sort of indication that a crime could have been committed, BUT a warrant doesn't confirm that potential crime; in America, citizens are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. For obvious reasons, however, a warrant can certainly spark suspicion. Pres. Trump could release his copy of the warrant to the public at any time, but he will have to weigh benefits vs. cost. AG Garland provided this reason for why he was making this atypical request: “The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing."

The AP explains it well: "The request is striking because such documents traditionally remain sealed during a pending investigation. But the Justice Department appeared to recognize that its silence since the search had created a vacuum for bitter verbal attacks by Trump and his allies, and that the public was entitled to the FBI’s side about what prompted Monday’s action at the former president’s home."

Garland asks court to unseal warrant for Mar-a-Lago search

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