The Department of Justice has moved to unseal the warrant linked to the Mar-a-Lago search. Former President Trump’s legal team has until 3 p.m. ET Friday to respond. They can either object to the release of the search warrant or agree to it.
If they agree, the world would see what the government is seeking in their search warrant and what FBI agents took from Mar-a-Lago.
Late Thursday evening, Trump posted on his Truth Social outlet that he encourages the release of the warrant. He posted, “Release the documents now!”
Earlier Thursday, the former president’s attorney, Christina Bobb, was at Mar-a-Lago during the raid. She joined “On Balance with Leland Vittert” on Thursday night and offered optimism they would give the green light, but would not commit.
“It doesn’t appear at this time like we would object, but the court has ordered the Department of Justice to coordinate with us and to work on how that release would take place and what that would look like. Our team has responded. We have reached out to the Department of Justice to coordinate that and have not been able to make contact,” Trump’s attorney Christina Bobb said.
She added: “We’re waiting to hear back from them. We’re very eager. We know that people want information, and we’re eager to respond as best as possible in coordination with the Department of Justice so we’re just waiting to hear back from them.”
Near the end of Leland Vittet’s interview with Bobb, she expressed that she was not sure if they would support releasing the affidavit.
Sources confirmed to NewsNation the execution of the search warrant is linked to an investigation into whether or not the former president mishandled presidential records related to the discovery of boxes full of White House records that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left office.
Trump maintains that the search was neither necessary nor appropriate, calling it “prosecutorial misconduct” and a “surprise attack.” He claims his team had been cooperating with the Department of Justice since June.
The search of a former president’s home is unprecedented, which presents the question of how presidential records are handled.
The Presidential Records Act from 1978 establishes public ownership of all presidential records and developed a way presidents must manage their records.
Under the act, the president is responsible for the management and keeping of presidential records and must separate personal records.
The act allows the president to get rid of records that no longer have administrative, historical, informational or evidentiary value but only after the views of the Archivist of the United States on the proposed disposal have been made available in writing.
Once a president leaves office, the law requires presidential records to be automatically transferred into the legal custody of the archivist. This applies to the records of all presidents and vice presidents and began with the Reagan Administration.
House Republicans believe the enforcement of the Presidential Records Act under Trump differs from previous presidents. In response to the Mar-a-Lago search, Republicans with the Oversight and Reform Committee asked for all documents and communications between any employee or agent of National Archives and Records Administration, the FBI or Department of Justice and the Offices of the United States Attorneys regarding Trump.
The committee is also looking for all communication between NARA employees about documents Trump possesses, all documents submitted to a U.S. federal district court or magistrate or judge, and all documents that illustrate the process of how NARA collects documents during a presidential transition.
A judge reportedly signed off on the FBI’s search warrant for Mar-a-Lago last week, but investigators did not take at least 12 boxes from the resort until Monday when Trump was in New York.
Sources confirmed to NewsNation Senior National Correspondent Brian Entin that FBI agents found dozens of classified documents during their search of Mar-a-Lago.
Investigators reportedly discovered classified documents in two areas: Trump’s personal office above a ballroom and in a storage room near the pool.
Sources say there were “boxes everywhere,” with some containing Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). Those are considered some of the highest level of classified government documents.
During a pending investigation, documents typically remain sealed, but the Department of Justice requested to have the warrant unsealed due to the public’s clear and powerful interest. However, since the documents are so secretive, it’s unknown if investigators will ever publicly acknowledge what they’re in reference to, let alone release them.