What we know about the Mar-a-Lago search affidavit: Yahoo News Explains

Last week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the Department of Justice to produce a redacted version of the search warrant affidavit that allowed for the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home by Thursday, Aug. 25. In a written order on Monday, however, Reinhart indicated that if the redactions made by the DOJ render the document unintelligible, it may not be released publicly. As the deadline approaches, Yahoo News explains what we know so far.

Video Transcript

- Here's where things stand with the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago. On Monday, August 8, former President Trump revealed that Mar-a-Lago, his home in Palm Beach, Florida, had been, quote, unquote, "raided" by the FBI.

- The former President confirmed that, yes, this raid did happen on his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. He did not specify why exactly this raid happened.

- I would love to see what warrant, what reasoning they gave in the warrant.

- A few days later, the Department of Justice unsealed the search warrant--

- We have it.

- --which revealed the three potential crimes that predicated the search.

- Three potential crimes. Violations of the Espionage Act.

- The destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations.

- And then there was a 2071, which is concealment and mutilation of federal documents.

- As well as a description of the items taken by the FBI.

- FBI agents took 20 boxes of items. That included some marked as top secret.

- And there's one set of documents that has been marked TS/SCI, TS meaning top secret and SCI meaning sensitive compartmented information. Highly classified material.

- Then last week, several media organizations, including the "New York Times," NBC, and CBS petitioned for the search warrant affidavit, which would have more detailed information about the probable cause needed for the search, to be unsealed.

- The pressure for the federal government to show its cards in last week's unprecedented search of former President Trump's Florida home now set to come to a head in a federal courtroom.

- US magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhardt, who issued the initial search warrant, sided at least in part with the media and gave the Justice Department until Thursday, August 25 to produce a redacted version of the affidavit for review.

- A Florida magistrate judge ruled the government did not meet the burden to show the entire document must remain under seal. The DOJ now has less than one week to finish making redactions.

- However, in a written order on Monday, Judge Reinhardt said that despite the, quote, "intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former president's residence, the affidavit may not end up being released to the public if the redactions made by the DOJ render the document meaningless."

- I think you're going to see virtually nothing after the redactions are presented to the judge.

- And the magistrate today in his 13-page order effectively said, I'll be the judge of that. That might in fact be the case, but let me first review the proposed redactions.