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Trump lawyers, DOJ to go head-to-head over 'special master' appointment in key Mar-a-Lago hearing

US District Judge Aileen Cannon will hear arguments form the DOJ against Trump's request to appoint a special master Thursday afternoon.

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Judge declines to issue ruling on "special master" appointment from bench

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon declined to issue a ruling Thursday on whether she would appoint a "special master" to review documents the FBI took from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

A written ruling will come "in due course," the judge said.

Christopher Kise, one of Trump's attorneys, argued that the temperature in the country is "very high" and criticized the government for including a picture in a court filing this week showing documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, describing the photo as "perfectly staged."

Jay Bratt, the chief of DOJ's counterintelligence and export control section, told the judge that the former president was “in unlawful possession of the records.”

Thursday's hearing came after the former president requested a "special master" to review documents seized in the search, arguing that some of them are covered by executive privilege.

Cannon's written ruling could be issued later today, on Friday, or next week.

Read more here: Trump FBI raid: Judge delays ruling on ‘special master’ after key hearing

Posted by Paul Best

Thursday hearing will be a turning point for Trump's battle over Mar-a-Lago documents

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump will square off with Justice Department prosecutors in a Florida courtroom later Thursday. Trump is seeking to appoint a "special master" to review documents the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago.

Judge Aileen Cannon will hear the case at 1 p.m. ET. The hearing will be the latest legal battle over the FBI's investigation into whether Trump illegally possessed classified national security documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Attorneys at the Department of Justice argued in a filing earlier this week that appointing a special master is unnecessary. The filing stated that "government records were likely concealed and removed" from a storage room in Mar-a-Lago, "and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government's investigation."

A special master would be a third party that independently reviews the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago. Trump argues the DOJ should not have the final say on reviewing the FBI's work

The DOJ argues Trump has no right to the documents, however, stating that they belong to the U.S. government. It also argued that Trump had no valid claim to executive privilege because the DOJ is part of the Executive Branch.

Trump's lawyers have discussed preparing a joint list of potential special master candidates with DOJ attorneys. Any candidate would be required to have Top Secret or SCI security clearance.

Read more here.

Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump lawyers, DOJ to go head-to-head over 'special master' appointment in key Mar-a-Lago hearing

Former President Donald Trump's attorneys will argue for a "special master" to be appointed to handle the documents the FBI took in the raid against his Mar-a-Lago home Thursday.

Attorneys at the Department of Justice argued in a filing earlier this week that such an appointment is unnecessary. The filing stated that "government records were likely concealed and removed" from a storage room in Mar-a-Lago, "and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government's investigation."

Trump's attorneys responded to the DOJ's filing with a blistering statement Wednesday night,

"The United States Attorney’s Office, has filed an extraordinary document with this Court, suggesting that the DOJ, and the DOJ alone, should be entrusted with the responsibility of evaluating its unjustified pursuit of criminalizing a former President’s possession of personal and Presidential records in a secure setting," Trump's lawyers wrote.

"The Government twists the framework of responding to a motion for a Special Master into an all-encompassing challenge to any judicial consideration, presently or in the future, of any aspect of its unprecedented behavior in this investigation," Trump's lawyers continued.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon will hear the case Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

Trump accuses DOJ, FBI of ‘Election Interference’ in midterms, 2024

Former President Trump on Sunday accused the Department of Justice and the FBI of practicing election interference “at the highest and most dishonest level our country has ever seen before, both in the Midterms, and the 2024 Presidential Election.”

“They allowed spying on my campaign (and did nothing!), told Facebook and the Media that the Laptop from Hell was “Russian Disinformation” (it wasn’t!), and now they don’t want anyone to read the words and meaning of the very important Presidential Records Act, under which I did nothing wrong, BUT THEY DID – RAID!,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social. 

Posted by Bradford Betz

Trump says FBI raid is a "disgrace" to our "now Third World Nation!"

Former President Trump said in a Truth Social post on Saturday that the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 is a "disgrace to our now Third World Nation!"

Trump also alleged that the raid was conducted for "political purposes."

"Federal Judge in Florida just took over the Presidential Records Act case, including the unprecedented, unnecessary, and unannounced FBI/DOJ Raid (Break-In!) of my home, Mar-a-Lago. This assault was done for political purposes just prior to the Midterm Elections (and 2024, of course!). It is a disgrace to our now Third World Nation!," Trump said.

Posted by Adam Sabes
Breaking News

Judge announces 'preliminary intent to appoint a special master' to review Trump records seized

FIRST ON FOX: A federal judge on Saturday announced its "preliminary intent to appoint a special master" to review records seized by the FBI during its unprecedented raid of his Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month, at the request of former President Trump and his legal team, citing the "exceptional circumstances." 

Trump and his legal team filed a motion Monday evening seeking an independent review of the records seized by the FBI during its raid of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, saying the decision to search his private residence just months before the 2022 midterm elections "involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump."

U.S. District Judge from the Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen M. Cannon on Saturday afternoon said that the decision was made upon the review of Trump’s submissions and "the exceptional circumstances presented."

"Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case," Cannon wrote in a filing Saturday

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Adam Sabes

DNI vows 'assessment' of potential risk before Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump slams 'assault' on democracy

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines along with other officials will give an "assessment" to top lawmakers about "the potential risk" to national security posed by former President Trump allegedly keeping top secret documents at his Florida residence, Fox News has learned.

Haines sent a letter to Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. as well as Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and informed them both about the decision.

In a joint statement, Reps. Maloney and Schiff said that they are "pleased" by the decision."

We are pleased that in response to our inquiry, Director Haines has confirmed that the Intelligence Community and Department of Justice are assessing the damage caused by the improper storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms our grave concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could endanger human sources. It is critical that the IC move swiftly to assess and, if necessary, to mitigate the damage done—a process that should proceed in parallel with DOJ’s criminal investigation," they wrote.

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Posted by Adam Sabes

Trump legal team says redacted affidavit raises 'more questions than answers'

Former President Donald Trump's legal team reacted for the first time to the heavily redacted FBI affidavit released Friday, saying what was not redacted raises "more questions than answers."

Trump's lawyers weighed in on the affidavit in a court filing Friday in which they again requested that a neutral third party be appointed to oversee the Department of Justice handling of evidence.

The attorneys cited the unsealing of the redacted affidavit as a reason for a judge to grant its motion for a "special master."

Click here to read more on Fox News.

Posted by Adam Sabes

Former President Trump says that FBI raid is 'one of the most egregious assaults on democracy'

Former President Trump said in a Truth Social post on Saturday that the FBI raid at his Florida residence on Aug. 8 is "one of the most egregious assaults on democracy."

"The Raid on my home, Mar-a-Lago, is one of the most egregious assaults on democracy in the history of our Country which is, by the way, going to places, in a very bad way, it has never seen before!," Trump said.

Posted by Adam Sabes
Breaking News

DNI to give lawmakers 'assessment' of potential risk leading to Mar-a-Lago raid

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines as well as other officials will give an "assessment" to top lawmakers about “the potential risk” to national security posed by former President Trump keeping top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Haines sent a letter to Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to inform them about the decision.

Reps. Maloney and Schiff both released the following joint statement:

“We are pleased that in response to our inquiry, Director Haines has confirmed that the Intelligence Community and Department of Justice are assessing the damage caused by the improper storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. The DOJ affidavit, partially unsealed yesterday, affirms our grave concern that among the documents stored at Mar-a-Lago were those that could endanger human sources. It is critical that the IC move swiftly to assess and, if necessary, to mitigate the damage done—a process that should proceed in parallel with DOJ’s criminal investigation," they wrote.

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Posted by Adam Sabes

Former President Trump asks when FBI agents are going to say 'we aren’t going to take it anymore'

Former President Trump asked in a Truth Social post on Saturday when FBI agents are going to say “we aren’t going to take it anymore."

The post comes just one day after the Justice Department's unsealed affidavit was released.

"When are the great Agents, and others, in the FBI going to say “we aren’t going to take it anymore,” much as they did when James Comey read off a list of all of Crooked Hillary Clinton’s crimes, only to say that no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute. The wonderful people of the FBI went absolutely “nuts,” so Comey had to backtrack and do a FAKE INVESTIGATION in order to keep them at bay. The end result, we won in 2016 (and did MUCH better in 2020!). But now the “Left” has lost their minds!!," Trump said.

Trump also said that the "Fake News Media" is "by how well TRUTH is doing."

"The Fake News Media is devastated by how well TRUTH is doing so, quite on cue, they are working overtime to criticize and demean it. Actually, many of the big guns in Washington, D.C., are fighting to stop the TRUTH but, they won’t be successful. They are going after the outside financial company, and virtually anybody that walks and breaths, but that won’t do it. They said it is doing worse since the Raid, but actually it is doing MUCH better, up more than 550%. We all love TRUTH!!!," Trump said.

Posted by Adam Sabes

Republican lawmakers rip DOJ Trump affidavit redactions: 'So much for transparency'

Lawmakers are outraged at the heavy redactions in the much-anticipated affidavit used to justify this month's raid on former President Trump's residence.

Florida Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart unsealed a redacted affidavit Friday that the FBI used to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

"So much for transparency," Republican North Carolina Rep. Dan Bishop wrote on social media following the documents' release.

Approximately 20 pages of the 38-page affidavit were either significantly or fully redacted.

For more on this story: Republican lawmakers rip DOJ Trump affidavit redactions: 'So much for transparency'

Posted by Timothy H.J. Nerozzi

Baier on released affidavit: 'We are back to square one'

Fox News host Bret Baier provides analysis after the release of the redacted affidavit in the FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Posted by Fox News

FBI cites 'probable cause' that 'evidence of obstruction' would be found at Mar-a-Lago

The FBI, in the unsealed and redacted affidavit released by a federal judge Friday, wrote that "there is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES."

Posted by Greg Norman

DOJ releases redacted Mar-a-Lago raid affidavit

Fox News' David Spunt, Martha MacCallum and Andy McCarthy provide analysis and reaction to the release of the redacted affidavit in the FBI raid of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Posted by Fox News

Trump slams federal judge after redacted affidavit released

Former President Donald Trump, in his first comments after a federal judge ordered the release of a redacted affidavit Friday that the FBI used to obtain a search warrant of his Mar-a-Lago property, says nothing was mentioned about "our close working relationship regarding document turnover - WE GAVE THEM MUCH.

"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," Trump wrote on his Truth social account. "What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!

Posted by Greg Norman

FBI said it had 'probable cause' to believe additional classified docs remained at Mar-a-Lago

The FBI said it had "probable cause to believe" that additional records containing classified information, including National Defense Information, would be found on the premises of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home beyond what he had previously turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration, according to the unsealed and heavily-redacted affidavit used to justify the raid released Friday. 

The affidavit was unsealed Friday, after U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the DOJ’s proposed redactions to the document. 

Approximately 20 pages of the 38-page affidavit were either significantly or fully redacted.

"The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records," the affidavit states. 

For more on this story: FBI said it had 'probable cause' to believe additional classified docs remained at Mar-a-Lago, affidavit says

Posted by Brooke Singman

Justice Department sent letter to Trump team to add more security at Mar-a-Lago

The Justice Department had sent a letter to Trump's team to increase security at Mar-a-Lago after the FBI and Justice Department inspected the facility in early June, it has emerged.

"As I previously indicated to you, Mar-a-Lago does not include a secure location authorized for the storage of classified information," the letter says. "As such, it appears that since the time classified documents were removed from the secure facilities at the White House and moved to Mar-a-Lago on or around January 20, 2021, they have not been handled in an approp1iate manner or stored in an appropriate location."

"Accordingly, we ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room in their current condition until farther notice," it adds.

Posted by Fox News

More than half of pages redacted in Trump FBI raid affidavit

The redacted, 38-page affidavit unsealed Friday by a federal judge in Florida that the FBI used to obtain a search warrant of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago property on Aug. 8 contains approximately 20 pages that are either significantly or fully redacted.

Posted by Greg Norman

Federal judge unseals redacted Trump raid affidavit

Florida Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart has unsealed a redacted affidavit Friday that the FBI used to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

Read the redacted affidavit.

Posted by Greg Norman

Website crashing as public tries to access redacted Trump FBI raid affidavit

A website where a federal judge in Florida is unsealing documents relating to the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago is repeatedly crashing because of surging demand.

Posted by Greg Norman

Legal expert: 'We are going to see a lot of black ink'

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett discusses what to expect when the Trump FBI raid affidavit is released and Biden's student loan handouts.

Posted by Fox News

What to expect from release of the redacted Mar-a-Lago search affidavit: Jonathan Turley

Jonathan Turley details what to expect in tomorrow's release of the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit, and says this is a time for the DOJ to have “greater transparency."

Posted by Fox News

Bill Barr says he's 'pretty tired of' the Right's 'constant pandering to outrage'

Former Attorney General Bill Barr knocked the "constant pandering" coming from the Right regarding the outrage towards the FBI following the raid at Mar-a-Lago

Appearing on Thursday's installment of Bari Weiss's "Honestly" podcast, Barr was defensive of the DOJ's handling of its ongoing investigation into former President Trump but said the fallout from the Russia investigation "created the condition" of the public automatically thinking "the worst" in the institution. 

Barr acknowledged the DOJ, by and large, is "spotty" when it comes to those who act on a partisan basis versus those who are able to "check [their politics] at the door." 

Weiss, however, called his comments on the podcast an "unsatisfying answer" to Republicans who continue to distrust the FBI. 

"Well, what's the alternative?" Barr shot back. "You know, something I'm pretty tired of from- from the Right is the constant pandering to outrage and people's frustrations. And picking and picking and picking at that sore without trying to channel those feelings in a constructive direction. In my opinion, Ronald Reagan was a great populist not because he followed, you know, the frustrated instincts and the outrage of the people that many people who supported him but because he channeled it and was constructive about it." 

For more on this story: Bill Barr says he's 'pretty tired of' the Right's 'constant pandering to outrage' while discussing FBI raid

Posted by Joseph A. Wulfsohn

This is what the DOJ will redact from the Mar-a-Lago raid affidavit: Tom Dupree

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree claims the Biden Justice Department is leveraging 'off the record leaks to the media' to shape the public narrative on 'Your World.'

Posted by Fox News

Judge gives DOJ until noon Friday to unseal Mar-a-Lago raid affidavit

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart has ordered the Justice Department unseal and make public a redacted version of the affidavit used to justify the warrant for the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home by Friday at noon.

The Justice Department turned over a redacted version of the affidavit to Reinhart on Thursday at noon, after he rejected the government's argument to keep the document under seal, citing the "intense public and historical interest" in the FBI's "unprecedented" raid of a former president's private residence. 

Reinhart said that after reviewing the Justice Department's redaction, the government "has met its burden of showing a compelling reason" and "good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit," saying the disclosure would reveal "the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties," the investigation's "strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and "grand jury information" protected by federal rules. 

Reinhart said that after reviewing the affidavit with redactions, he has determined that the Justice Department "has met its burden of showing that its proposed redactions are narrowly tailored to serve the Government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation and are the least onerous alternative to sealing the entire Affidavit." 

Posted by Fox News

Trump questions if Biden knew about Mar-a-Lago raid, slams 'radical left Democrat prosecutors'

Former President Donald Trump, in a series of messages posted to this Truth Social account Thursday, questioned whether President Joe Biden was aware of the FBI's Aug. 8 raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence before it happened.

"Joe Biden said he knew nothing about the Break-In of Mar-a-Lago or, the greatest political attack in the history of the U.S. Does anybody really believe this???" Trump wrote.

"The Radical Left Democrat prosecutors are illegally trying to circumvent, for purely political gain, the Presidential Records Act, under which I have done absolutely nothing wrong," Trump continued. "It can not be circumvented, for me or any other President. They illegally Raided my home, and took things that should not have been taken. They even broke into my safe, an unthinkable act!"

"The Justice Department and FBI are 'leaking' at levels never seen before -- and I did nothing wrong!!!" Trump also wrote, without elaborating.

Posted by Greg Norman

DOJ submits proposed Trump raid affidavit redactions to judge

The U.S. government appeared to file proposed redactions to the sworn affidavit accompanying the FBI search warrant of Trump’s Mar-A-Lago property earlier this month.

The court docket notes a filing by the Department of Justice under seal. The department faced a noon E.T. deadline set by the judge.

The Justice Department has previously warned that releasing detailed information in the affidavit would jeopardize its ongoing investigation into documents stored on former President Donald Trump’s private property, and possibly endanger witnesses interviewed by the government.

Posted by Fox News

Justice Department facing tight deadline to release FBI Trump raid affidavit

Former Assistant FBI Director Chris Swecker joined 'Fox & Friends First' to discuss the latest on the Mar-a-Lago raid and whistleblowers alleging the FBI was ordered not to investigate the Hunter Biden laptop.

Posted by Fox News

Biden said he did not have advance notice of FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago: 'None. Zero'

President Biden on Wednesday said he "didn't have any advance notice" of the FBI's unprecedented raid on former President Trump's private residence at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

"I didn't have any advance notice," Biden said after making remarks from the White House on Wednesday about his administration's plan to cancel student loan debt. "None. Zero. Not one single bit."

The White House has repeatedly said Biden learned about the FBI's raid on Trump's private residence through public reports "just like the American people did," while stressing the president's commitment to Justice Department investigations "free of political influence."

For more on this story: Biden said he did not have advance notice of FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago: 'None. Zero'

Posted by Fox News

Deadline is hours away for FBI to submit proposed redactions to Trump raid affidavit

The FBI has until 12 p.m. ET Thursday to submit proposed redactions to an affidavit it used to obtain a warrant to search former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8.

The affidavit would reveal much about the basis and information the FBI acted upon to execute the raid.

Bruce Reinhart, a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of Florida, is considering whether to release the redacted affidavit to the public.

Posted by Fox News

Jim Trusty promises 'Fourth Amendment based' challenge to Mar-a-Lago raid 'coming soon'

Jim Trusty spoke with Mark Levin on his radio show about the legal action President Donald Trump plans to take following the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Posted by Landon Mion

Trump legal counsel vows 'Fourth Amendment based' challenge to Mar-a-Lago raid 'very soon'

Former President Trump's legal counsel said on the Mark Levin Show that he's preparing to file a Fourth Amendment-related legal challenge "very soon" against the Department of Justice in relation to the Mar-a-Lago raid.

James Trusty, a former federal prosecutor, said that Trump's legal team is going to "weigh in very strong and very hard," stating that they are going to be "attacking" the search warrant used in the FBI's raid on the former president's Florida estate. 

"It should be something that gets publicly filed. So the whole United States will get to read this thing," Trusty said regarding the action the former president will take. As for the timing of the move, Trusty said Monday is a "possiblity" but added "it's probably going to be more like hours." 

"It's coming very soon," he said.

For more on this story: Trump legal counsel vows 'Fourth Amendment based' challenge to Mar-a-Lago raid 'very soon'

Posted by Landon Mion

Trump hints 'major motion' coming in response to Mar-a-Lago search

The former president suggested his camp is preparing a response to the FBI search of his Florida home earlier this month.

Taking to his social media account on Truth Social, Donald Trump hinted that a big response is pending.

"A major motion pertaining to the Fourth Amendment will soon be filed concerning the illegal Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago, right before the ever important Mid-Term Elections. My rights, together with the rights of all Americans, have been violated at a level rarely seen before in our Country. Remember, they even spied on my campaign. The greatest Witch Hunt in USA history has been going on for six years, with no consequences to the scammers. It should not be allowed to continue!"

Posted by Fox News

FBI has burden of proving raid wasn't a continuation of 'get Trump': Former acting AG

Former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker criticizes the FBI and warns that trust in the agency and the Justice Department is waning following the Trump raid and Hunter Biden probe.

Posted by Fox News

Lara Trump: Justice Department gets to play the long game

Fox News contributor Lara Trump weighs in after a Florida judge ordered the Justice Department to prepare a redacted affidavit for release.

Posted by Fox News

Constitutional attorney predicts Garland's next move following Trump raid

Former member of the Trump transition team Mark Smith reacts to a judge ordering the Justice Department to prepare the redacted affidavit from the Trump raid.

Posted by Fox News

Jonathan Turley details what to expect in redacted Trump Mar-a-Lago affidavit

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley discussed what should be expected in the redacted affidavit that was used to obtain the FBI's search warrant for its raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Thursday said he would release at least a portion of it.

For more on this story: Jonathan Turley details what to expect in redacted Trump Mar-a-Lago affidavit

Posted by Fox News

Will Cain on Trump raid: The DOJ wants the affidavit buried

Fox News co-host Will Cain said Americans deserve to know why the FBI raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on "Jesse Watters Primetime." 

Read more.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Former FBI special agent reveals if DOJ or FBI was pushing to execute warrant for Trump raid

Former FBI special agent Maureen O'Connell explained why the Department of Justice was "trying to push" the FBI to execute the warrant for the Trump raid Thursday on the "Special Report" panel.

Read more.

Posted by Bradford Betz

How Garland may have hurt the DOJ's fight to keep Trump raid affidavit sealed

Fox News contributor Andy McCarthy broke down how Attorney General Merrick Garland may have hurt the Justice Department's argument to keep the affidavit on the FBI's raid on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence sealed Thursday on "The Story."

Read more.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Judge says gov’t has not met burden showing why entire Trump FBI raid affidavit should remain sealed

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who ordered other documents related to the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, says the Department of Justice has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed.

“I find that on the present record the Government has not met its burden of showing that the entire affidavit should remain sealed. It is ORDERED that by noon EST on Thursday, August 25, 2022, the Government shall file under seal its proposed redactions along with a legal memorandum setting forth the justification for the proposed redactions,” Reinhart said.

“It is further ordered that ECF No. 57 shall be unsealed by the Clerk of Court. Done and ordered in Chambers at West Palm Beach, Florida this 18th day of August, 2022.”

Posted by Bradford Betz

Trump spox says American people should see unredacted FBI raid affidavit

“President Trump has made clear his view that the American people should be permitted to see the unredacted affidavit related to the raid and break-in of his home, Mar-a-Lago,” a spokesperson for former President Trump said in a statement.

“Today, magistrate Judge Reinhart rejected the DOJ’s cynical attempt to hide the whole affidavit from Americans. No redactions should be necessary and the whole affidavit should be released, given the Democrats’ penchant for using redactions to hide government corruption, just like they did with the Russia hoax.”

Posted by Bradford Betz

Gov’t argues unsealing Trump FBI raid affidavit unwise given ‘volatile’ state of the nation

Government prosecutor Jay Bratt said unsealing the document would, "provide a roadmap" of an ongoing investigation still in its early stages. He also said the country is in a "volatile" state and releasing the names of witnesses or FBI agents would "chill" other witnesses who may still come forward.

"This is not a precedent we want to set," said Bratt. "The government is very concerned about the safety of witnesses in this case."

Both the government and lawyers for media organizations who want the entire affidavit unsealed, as well as Judge Reinhart, agreed this is a very unique and unprecedented case.

Charles Tobin, who argued for the Washington Post and other media organizations, said the raid on Mar-a-Lago was one of the most significant law enforcement actions in the nation's history.

"The public interest could not be greater," he said.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Judge says portion of affidavit related to Trump FBI raid can be unsealed

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Thursday said the affidavit related to the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate should not be completely sealed, Fox News has learned.

Reinhardt has ordered other documents related to the FBI raid to be unsealed today, including the application for the warrant, the motion to seal, and the cover sheet.

Reinhart has given the government one week to submit proposed redactions under seal by noon on August 25th. Judge Reinhart will review those redactions and then decide how he wants to proceed or if he wants to make his own redactions instead.

He reminded all that if the government or media object to his redactions, which will also be under seal, they can appeal his ruling.

Posted by Bradford Betz

Trump supporters gather outside Florida courthouse

Supporters of former President Donald Trump have started appearing outside of the courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla., where a hearing is underway over whether to unseal the probable cause affidavit used to justify the FBI's raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

Posted by Greg Norman

Hearing underway in Florida on potentially unsealing FBI Mar-a-Lago search records

A hearing is now underway in Florida over whether to make public the probable cause affidavit used to justify the FBI's raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. 

The hearing is in response to several media outlets asking the court to make the affidavit public to understand the reasoning for a raid on the home of a former commander-in-chief.

Posted by Fox News

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to tax violations

Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleaded guilty Thursday to tax violations spanning over a decade. 

Weisselberg, 75, was charged with evading taxes by receiving perks that were not counted as income. He pleaded not guilty to 15 counts, including grand larceny last year, which, in the state of New York, is the unlawful taking of funds or property valued at $50,000 or more.

A source familiar with the potential deal told Fox News that Weisselberg was expected to serve 100 days behind bars and testify about the Trump Organization's business practices. The source said that Weisselberg would not be sentenced or surrender until after the trial.

For more on this story: Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg pleads guilty to tax violations

Posted by Fox News

Rand Paul: FBI needs to release affidavit for Trump raid

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., argues for the release of the FBI affidavit used to justify Mar-a-Lago raid and discusses the CDC COVID-19 failures and the border crisis.

Posted by Fox News

Florida sets hearing to decide on releasing Trump raid affidavit

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Fahey on the Trump Mar-A-Lago affidavit and whether it should be leaked and how the Biden administration considers open borders a success.

Posted by Fox News

Trump calls Washington Post 'Fake News' following report claiming he's 'scrambling' for lawyers

Former President Donald Trump has responded to a Washington Post report that claimed he was urgently looking to bolster his legal team following an FBI raid on his private Florida residence Mar-a-Lago.

In a post on Truth Social, Trump called the report "fake news" and continued to claim he was innocent of any wrongdoing.

"The WAPO story that ‘Trump is scrambling to add seasoned lawyers’ to the Mar-a-Lago Raid case is, as usual, FAKE NEWS," he wrote. "I already have excellent and experienced lawyers - am very happy with them."

The Washington Post published a report on Tuesday — titled "Trump is rushing to hire seasoned lawyers — but he keeps hearing ‘No’" — in which the outlet claimed Trump's current legal team does not have anyone with federal case experience.

For more on this story: Trump calls Washington Post 'Fake News' following report claiming he's 'scrambling' for lawyers after FBI raid

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Grassley says new whistleblower info reveals 'deeply rooted political infection' within the FBI

Senate Judiciary ranking member Chuck Grassley says whistleblower allegations reveal a "deeply rooted political infection" within the FBI.

In an Aug. 17 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Iowa Republican demanded an accounting for alleged political bias influencing high-level investigations, particularly out of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. office. 

"Starting on May 31, 2022, I’ve written three letters to you regarding political bias that has infected the FBI’s Washington Field Office," Grassley writes. "Two of those letters provided specific and credible allegations based on numerous whistleblowers that have approached my office with information that one can only conclude is indicative of a deeply rooted political infection that has spread to investigative activity into former President Trump and Hunter Biden."

Grassley claims that the FBI approved investigative activity into the Trump campaign with questionable predication while also choosing to "shut down investigative activity and sources, which included verified and verifiable information, relating to Hunter Biden."

For more on this story: Grassley says new whistleblower info reveals 'deeply rooted political infection' within the FBI

Posted by Brianna Herlihy

How long will Trump search warrant affidavit stay sealed?

Former Homeland Security official Jonathan Fahey and founder of the Article III Project Mike Davis weigh the risks and benefits of the public seeing the Trump investigation affidavit on 'Fox News @ Night.'

Posted by Fox News

Details emerge about plea deal former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is considering

The plea agreement that Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg is considering in the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation would not include cooperation with the government against former President Donald Trump or any members of the Trump family, two sources familiar with the potential deal told Fox News. 

One of the sources told Fox News that "there’s absolutely no cooperation" against Trump or his family but said that Weisselberg would be expected to testify against the Trump Organization as an entity if he enters the plea agreement, which is expected to be formally entered this Thursday. 

Weisselberg, 75, was charged with evading taxes by receiving perks that were not counted as income. He pleaded not guilty to 15 counts, including grand larceny last year, which, in the state of New York, is the unlawful taking of funds or property valued at $50,000 or more and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

For more on this story: Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg plea deal would not include cooperation against Trump: sources

Posted by Fox News

Markwayne Mullin talks Mar-a-Lago raid, says DOJ has not responded to intel committee letter

FIRST ON FOX: The unprecedented raid on Mar-a-Lago last week plunged the country into a political media maelstrom as reports rained down ranging from nuclear-related documents being sought to former President Trump’s passports being taken.

Republicans have denounced the raid, and House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee held a press conference in the wake of the FBI's actions.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not responded to House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ letter requesting a briefing on the unprecedented raid, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., told Fox News Digital. 

Mullin, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, spoke with Fox News Digital over the phone and was asked if he had any insight on the raid he could share.

"To be honest, I want to be very honest. We don't," Mullin said, referring to Republican intelligence committee members. "That's the frustrating thing about it."

For more on this story: Markwayne Mullin talks Mar-a-Lago raid, says DOJ has not responded to intel committee letter

Posted by Houston Keene

Judge to weigh whether unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago raid will jeopardize Trump investigation

A federal magistrate in Florida is set to hold a hearing Thursday on whether to make public the probable cause affidavit used to justify the FBI's raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. 

The hearing is in response to several media outlets asking the court to make the affidavit public to understand the reasoning for a raid on the home of a former commander-in-chief.

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who green-lit the original search warrant Aug. 5, is slated to preside over the hearing, although it is unclear whether he will make a decision from the bench or take the case under advisement. 

For more on this story: Judge to weigh whether unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago raid will jeopardize Trump investigation

Posted by Haris Alic

Former Vice President Pence warns Republicans about FBI criticism for Mar-a-Lago raid

Former Vice President Mike Pence said in New Hampshire Wednesday that Republicans should exercise restraint when talking about the FBI's raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans, we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision he made without attacking the rank-and-file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” Pence said at the Politics & Eggs event at St. Anselm College, according to the Associated Press.

“The Republican Party is the party of law and order,” Pence added. “Our party stands with the men and women who stand on the thin blue line at the federal and state and local level, and these attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police.”

Posted by Greg Norman

Trump spokesperson hails ‘strongest attorneys’ representing former president

A Trump spokesperson is speaking out Thursday about the former president’s legal team ahead of a hearing Thursday on potentially unsealing FBI records related to last week's raid on Mar-a-Lago. 

“The President’s lead counsel in relation to the raid of his home, Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran, have decades of prosecutorial experience and have litigated some of the most complex cases in American history,” the spokesperson told Fox News. 

“President Trump is represented by some of the strongest attorneys in the country, and any suggestion otherwise is only driven by envy, given President Trump is more popular than ever and this Biden witch hunt has been quickly exposed as an unprecedented and unnecessary abuse of power by President Trump’s political opponents who are getting crushed everywhere, including in Wyoming where Liz Cheney has been destroyed by Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman,” the spokesperson added. 

Fox News' Mark Meredith contributed to this report.

Posted by Greg Norman

Lawrence Jones: Justice Department owes Americans 'some type of explaining' over Trump raid

'Lawrence Jones Cross Country' host Lawrence Jones joined 'Fox & Friends' to discuss the latest on the FBI's Trump raid and Joe Rogan's thoughts on the motive behind the incident.

Posted by Fox News

Trump blasts Liz Cheney after primary loss to Harriet Hagerman: 'The people have spoken'

Former President Donald Trump took a victory lap on social media after his endorsed congressional candidate in Wyoming Harriet Hageman defeated Rep. Liz Cheney in the state’s Republican primary.

In a series of posts, Trump applauded the "very decisive win" and lambasted Cheney, who he described as "spiteful" and "a fool." He also thanked Wyoming voters for the "very decisive win."

"Congratulations to Harriet Hageman on her great and very decisive WIN in Wyoming," Trump wrote on TRUTH Social shortly after the race was called. "This is a wonderful result for America, and a complete rebuke of the Unselect Committee of political Hacks and Thugs."

For more on this story: Trump blasts Liz Cheney after primary loss to Harriet Hagerman: 'The people have spoken'

Posted by Lawrence Richard

Trump says DOJ, FBI returned passports, makes comparison to 'common criminal'

Former President Trump on Tuesday said the Department of Justice and FBI had returned his passports.

"Thank you! Unfortunately, when they Raided my home, Mar-a-Lago, 8 days ago, they just opened their arms and grabbed everything in sight, much as a common criminal would do," Trump wrote in a Truth Social post. "This shouldn't happen in America!"

Posted by Bradford Betz

CBS' Norah O'Donnell sets off uproar with tweet about FBI not having Trump passports

CBS News anchor Norah O'Donnell took heat for a tweet that stated the FBI did not have former President Trump’s passports, with critics blasting her for leaving up a tweet after it was seemingly debunked.

Trump alleged the FBI "stole" three of his passports on Monday, calling it an "assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country."

Read more.

Posted by Fox News

Trump says FBI demanded security cameras shut off during Mar-a-Lago raid: 'We said no!'

Former President Donald Trump said the FBI demanded that all security cameras be turned off during the Mar-a-Lago raid last week.

"What is that all about?" Trump wrote in a Truth Social post. "We said no!"

Posted by Fox News

Former Trump adviser Mick Mulvaney says he hopes Trump does not run in 2024

Former acting chief of staff for President Donald Trump Mick Mulvaney said he hopes Trump does not run in 2024 in a Monday evening appearance on Newsnation's, "Banfield."

"I don't think we should be offering Donald Trump," Mulvaney told anchor Ashleigh Banfield. "I also think it’s also a time actually for the next generation to take over anyway."

Mulvaney, who resigned from his White House position in January 2021 citing the Jan. 6 riots, said he would have a "hard time" voting for the former president if Trump were the 2024 Republican candidate. 

For more on this story: Former Trump adviser Mick Mulvaney says he hopes Trump does not run in 2024

Posted by Haley Chi-Sing

Judge schedules hearing on unsealing FBI Mar-a-Lago search records

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart scheduled an in-person hearing on Thursday in Florida regarding the unsealing of FBI records related to last week’s raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

The hearing is set to be held Aug. 18 in the West Palm Beach Division. Reinhart will discuss with the government and Trump's legal team the motion to unseal the search warrant materials and attachments—the affidavit for the search warrant likely is included in that material.

Media organizations are asking Reinhart to unseal the affidavit despite objections by the Department of Justice. Reinhart has not ruled on the matter yet.

For more on this story: Judge schedules hearing on unsealing FBI Mar-a-Lago search records

Posted by Fox News

Washington Post column: Midterms looking ‘much better’ for Democrats because of Trump

After months of polling that showed a red wave could be imminent, Democrats could see a possible comeback in the midterms, according to a Washington Post column. 

"Suddenly, the 2022 midterms are looking much better for Democrats, and there’s a simple explanation: Donald Trump is back on the ballot, metaphorically speaking," columnist Dana Milbank wrote on Monday.

Describing the recent shift as a "historical anomaly," Milbank noted that momentum has shifted in the direction of an incumbent president’s party late in the game of an election year—for the first time in modern history.

For more on this story: Washington Post column: Midterms looking ‘much better’ for Democrats because of Trump

Posted by Nikolas Lanum

Judge schedules hearing on potentially unsealing FBI Mar-a-Lago search records

A Florida judge has scheduled a hearing Thursday in Florida regarding the matter of unsealing FBI records related to last week's raid of Mar-a-Lago.

President Trump's team, on the Truth Social network, called for the unredacted release of the affidavit related to the search, but the Justice Department has opposed doing so, arguing that it will jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

Posted by Fox News

Trump’s vacation plans were nearly thwarted after FBI seized his passports

Former President Donald Trump nearly had his summer vacation plans thwarted after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago resort and took his passports.

The FBI initially seized three passports from Trump, two of which were expired. The organization then contacted the former president and returned them on Tuesday. Trump reportedly plans to visit one of his golf resorts in the U.K. in the coming weeks.

Trump posted about the loss of his passports prior to having them returned on Monday. He incorrectly stated that only one of the passports was expired.

For more on this story: Trump’s vacation plans were nearly thwarted after FBI seized his passports

Posted by Anders Hagstrom

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