The Justice Department’s release of the affidavit detailing probable cause for the FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s home was met with scorn from the 45th president Friday.
On the orders of the judge who authorized the Aug. 8 raid, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the highly anticipated document was released at noon on Friday with numerous redactions.
“They missed a page!” Trump joked via Truth Social, sharing an altered picture of a page from the affidavit with only the words “Make America Great Again” visible.
In another post, the president noted that the document’s readable portion did not mention the rumored “nuclear information” reported on by The Washington Post or his team’s previous cooperation with the investigation.
“Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH,” he said. “Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me. What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!”
Previously, it was reported that Reinhart, who once represented employees of the late Jeffrey Epstein, was also a donor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. It was also revealed that, in June, the judge recused himself from a separate case involving President Trump — the president’s lawsuit against Hillary Clinton — due to an unspecified “conflict of interest.”
Friday’s highly anticipated release of the redacted affidavit offered little new information.
Authored by an FBI agent whose identity was redacted, the affidavit detailed how the investigation was opened in response to concerns expressed by John Laster, director of the White House liaison division of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), following a review of 15 boxes of materials collected from President Trump months after he left office.
Notably, the details of how NARA first became aware that those boxes of documents were at Mar-a-Lago were also redacted from the affidavit. However, according to the document’s author, Laster’s “most significant concern” was that highly classified records were “intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”
Holding that there was “probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI [national defense information] or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements” were at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI agent further added that there was probable cause to believe “evidence of obstruction” would be found at Trump’s home. Those details were not readable as to what that evidence might be and why it was deemed necessary to raid the home of the 45th president.
Meanwhile, another document released with the affidavit — a May 25 letter from Trump attorney M. Evan Corcoran to Jay Bratt, the Justice Department’s top counterintelligence official — noted the president’s cooperation with the investigation up until that point.
“It is important to emphasize that when a request was made for the documents by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), President Trump readily and voluntarily agreed to their transfer to NARA,” Corcoran wrote. “The communications regarding the transfer of boxes to NARA were friendly, open, and straightforward. President Trump voluntarily ordered that the boxes be provided to NARA. No legal objection was asserted about the transfer. No concerns were raised about the contents of the boxes. It was a voluntary and open process.”
Also noting that the president has “absolute authority” to declassify documents, Corcoran expressed the concern that the FBI’s investigation was politically motivated and reminded Bratt that the “DOJ must be insulated from political influence.”
According to the affidavit, this letter was provided to the judge along with the request for a search warrant, though evidently, the judge sided with the Justice Department.
Following the raid, public trust in the FBI has dropped, with a majority of voters now believing that those at the top of the organization “are using the FBI … as Joe Biden’s personal Gestapo.”
Further, it appears that the rank and file officers of the FBI are jumping ship. According to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, 14 FBI whistleblowers have recently come forward to expose the truth of how the organization is being wielded as a political weapon.
President Trump, noting this weaponization, commented via Truth Social: “Never in our Country’s history has there been a time where law enforcement has been so viciously and violently involved in the life and times of politics in our Nation. Even in light of the fact that they violated the Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, the Mueller Witch Hunt, lied many times before Congress, and on many occasions put out fraudulent information before the FISA Court, they continue. They have no shame. They are destroying our Country!”