Federal Judge Releases New Portions of Mar-a-Lago Affidavit: Biden DOJ Went After Trump's Cameras
On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered additional information be released from a June 24 FBI affidavit to justify the search of former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.
The newly released portions reveal that the Biden Department of Justice subpoenaed the Trump Organization with a demand for video from the Mar-a-Lago surveillance system cameras located near where the seized documents were stored.
The affidavit, sworn on Aug. 5, demanded The Trump Organization surrender approximately six months of footage, from Jan. 10, 2022, to June 24, 2022.
“Any and all surveillance records, videos, images, photographs, and/or CCTV from internal cameras located on ground floor (basement) -[REDACTED]- on the Mar-a-Lago property located at 1100 S Ocean Blvd. Palm Beach, FL 33480 from the time period of January 10, 2022 to present,” the partially unredacted section read.
This demand is followed by the acknowledgment that, “On July 6, 2022, in response to this subpoena, representatives of the Trump Organization provided a hard drive to FBI agents.” The rest of that section and the next five sections of the affidavit are completely redacted.
The new information reveals nothing about the content of the footage turned over to the FBI. The heading of the section containing the demand for the footage is also redacted.
gov.uscourts.flsd.617854.125.0_1 by The Western Journal on Scribd
The cleared redactions also revealed the classification markings of some of the documents seized as, “HCS, SI and FISA,” CNN reported.
Documents marked “HCS” refer to “HUMINT” or human intelligence sources, such as covert and official intelligence agents and informants. “SI” or “special intelligence” is for communications intelligence, such as intercepted signals. “FISA” refers to the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” and wiretaps within the U.S. used for counterintelligence, according to the Center for Development of Security Excellence.
Since the Aug. 8 raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, a lengthy legal battle has unfolded between the Trump Organization and the DOJ. During the raid, FBI technicians and agents seized 36 pieces of evidence, mostly boxes and containers of documents.
On Aug. 12, Judge Bruce Reinhart, who had issued the search warrant, ordered it to be unsealed, providing the public with the allegations the FBI agents were making. These included the Presidential Records Act of 1978 and the Espionage Act.
The DOJ released a heavily redacted version of the affidavit of probable cause for the search warrant on Aug. 26.
The Trump legal team requested a “special master” be appointed in an Aug. 22 motion that also “enjoin[ed] further review of seized materials by the Government until a Special Master is appointed,” halting the DOJ’s review of the documents, “require[d] the Government to provide a more detailed Receipt for Property; and require[d] the Government to return any item seized that was not within the scope of the Search Warrant.”
On Aug. 30, the DOJ filed a motion in federal court opposing the appointment of a special master and alleging that documents were “concealed and removed” from the Mar-a-Lago storage room, a move “likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” CNN reported.
By Sept. 5, Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents, leading the DOJ to file an appeal three days later. The Trump team and the DOJ disagreed on both the scope of the review as well as candidates for special master.
A massive 21-page-filing issued by the Trump legal team outlining the serious disagreements between the DOJ and Trump’s team was released on Sept. 12.
According to WPTV-TV “DOJ lawyers said in a filing that, in addition to the two retired judges whom they earlier recommended, they would also be satisfied with one of the Trump team selections — Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York.”
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