Prosecutors oppose release of reasons for search of Trump’s home

The US Department of Justice on Monday opposed the publication of a court document supposed to give the reasons which prompted federal investigators to carry out an unprecedented search at the home of former President Donald Trump last week.

The federal police operation at his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida – a first for an ex-president – caused a political storm, Donald Trump and his supporters denouncing a “witch hunt”. Several organizations, including the media, had asked a judge to release a court document in which investigators usually explain why the search was necessary.

Do no harm to the investigation

The Ministry of Justice assured on Monday that such a publication “would irreparably harm the ongoing criminal investigation”, according to a court document. Friday, at the request of prosecutors this time, a judge had made public the warrant authorizing the search and a list of the documents seized.

But, unlike the first, the document whose publication this time was requested contains “very sensitive information on witnesses”, techniques used by the police and “extremely important facts about the investigation”, estimated the ministry. Its publication could reveal the strategy of the investigators and “compromising (the success) of the next steps of the investigation”, he added.

An ex-president in turmoil

According to the documents revealed this Friday, justice suspects the Republican of having violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents. The list of items seized mentions numerous documents classified as “top secret”. Donald Trump, tipped to relaunch in the race for the White House for 2024, assured that these documents had been declassified.

This Monday, indicating that he saw his passports seized during the search, the Republican said he was the victim of an “attack against a political opponent like we have never seen in our country”.

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