Trump asks court to unseal search warrant affidavit in documents probe

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Former US president Donald Trump.
Former US president Donald Trump.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Former US President Donald Trump on Tuesday asked a federal court in Florida to provide him and his lawyers with a complete version of the affidavit that federal investigators used to obtain a search warrant for his Florida property in August.

Prosecutors are conducting a criminal probe into the retention of government records at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort after his presidency ended.

The request to unseal the search warrant affidavit was made to US District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida.

A redacted version of the affidavit was made public in August after media organizations sought its release, with sections blacked out that prosecutors said should remain secret.

The Justice Department said the redactions included information from "a broad range of civilian witnesses" as well as investigative techniques that, if disclosed, could reveal how to obstruct the probe.

Trump's lawyers told the court on Tuesday that he must be able to review the full affidavit "and determine whether the Fourth Amendment was respected, intentionally subverted, or recklessly violated by a DOJ bent on getting its nose under the Mar-a-Lago tent."

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution involves unreasonable search and seizure. Trump, a Republican, has accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Joe Biden of conducting a political witch hunt.

A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to preside over criminal probes involving the former president after Trump announced he would run for president again.

A federal appeals court later on Tuesday will hear arguments on whether an outside arbiter appointed by Cannon should be allowed to continue a review of documents seized in the search and determine whether any of the records should be kept from criminal investigators.

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