The Department of Justice on Friday released a heavily redacted version of the affidavit used to justify the raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, showing that the FBI believed there to be probable cause of “evidence of obstruction” in the building, reports National Review.
After reviewing the documents, Axios reports:
The unsealed affidavit revealed that 14 of the 15 boxes retrieved from Trump earlier this year by the National Archives and Record Administration contained 184 documents with classification markings.
- Of those documents, 67 were marked as “confidential,” 92 were marked as “secret,” and 25 documents were marked as “top secret.”
- “Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified,” per the affidavit.
- The DOJ also said that “there is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI [national defense information] or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the PREMISES.”
- The DOJ added there is also “probable cause” to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at Mar-a-Lago
- The DOJ affidavit said that the FBI believed that Trump’s storage room, residential suite, Pine Hall, the “45 Office” and other spaces potentially held national defense information.
Prior to releasing the affidavit, the DOJ also released a 14-page documentexplaining the reasoning for why releasing the affidavit without redactions would harm the investigation and could jeopardize the safety of witnesses and agents involved.
- “[T]he materials the government marked for redaction … must remain sealed to protect the safety and privacy of a significant number of civilian witnesses, in addition to law enforcement personnel, as well as to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and to avoid disclosure of grand jury material in violation of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure,” the document reads.
- It also notes that the Florida Judge “found that disclosure of the Affidavit would likely result in witnesses being ‘quickly and broadly identified over social media and other communication channels, which could lead to them being harassed and intimidated.’”
DOJ added that the court found the affidavit contains “matters of significant public concern” and concluded that “the present record” does not “justif[y] keeping the entire Affidavit under seal.”
The previously unsealed search warrant and inventory revealed the FBI removed around 20 boxes, including 11 sets of classified information from the Trump property, including some marked as “top secret.”
- House Republicans have pressed for more information from the Justice Department and FBI in the wake of the search.
- Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said last Thursday that it was “very important” that the public have as “much information” as it can about the search at Trump’s Florida residence.
- “I find that the Government has met its burden of showing a compelling reason/good cause to seal portions of the Affidavit because disclosure would reveal (1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties, (2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods, and (3) grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure,” Reinhart wrote in his order that parts of the affidavit be redacted.
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Biden’s Email Controversy Deepens: A Saga of Aliases, Whistleblowers, and Shadowy Communications
In a bombshell revelation, new records released by the House Ways & Means Committee expose a labyrinth of email aliases and private addresses used by then-Vice President Joe Biden to communicate with his son Hunter and key business associates, according to metadata obtained from IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler.
Furthermore, according to reports from Fox News, the data, covering the span of nine years from 2010 to 2019, reveals an astonishing 327 exchanges between Biden and his son, notably during Biden’s tenure as vice president.
The majority of these clandestine communications were exclusively with Eric Schwerin, a pivotal figure described as “the architect of the Biden family’s shell companies.” The emails were conducted using aliases such as “robinware456,” “JRBware,” and “RobertLPeters.” House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer had previously hinted at the existence of Biden’s email aliases earlier this year.
According to reports, the whistleblowers, still actively employed as IRS investigators, ran a search for Biden’s email aliases in their existing files, revealing the 327 exchanges with Hunter Biden and Schwerin. The metadata access, however, falls short of scrutinizing email content, requiring a search warrant for deeper investigation.
Schwerin, former president of Hunter’s Rosemont Seneca Advisors, has found himself under the spotlight. In a March 2023 meeting with the House Oversight Committee, Schwerin claimed he was unaware of any transactions related to Biden family business in the then-Vice President’s bank account.
This assertion aligns with the White House narrative, pushing back against Republican scrutiny and an impeachment inquiry.
Amidst the rising scrutiny, House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer has subpoenaed Schwerin for a deposition on Nov. 9, indicating a deepening probe into the financial intricacies of the Biden family.
The data also reveals a spike in emails between Biden and Schwerin during the vice president’s travels to Ukraine, a period significantly coinciding with Hunter Biden’s board membership at Burisma Holdings.
The information underscores the increased communication between the two during crucial junctures, raising questions about the nature of their discussions and the potential intersection of official government business with family interests.
Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith, spearheading the impeachment inquiry against President Biden, asserts that the evidence points to Joe Biden’s use of private email accounts with aliases while conducting official duties on international trips.
The broader investigation by Smith, alongside House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chairman Comer, delves into foreign money received by the Biden family and whether President Biden was involved in their foreign business dealings.
As the House intensifies its scrutiny, Hunter Biden’s scheduled deposition on Dec. 13 promises further revelations, with House Republicans pledging transparency by releasing the transcript and advocating for a public hearing. The saga of Biden’s emails unfolds against a backdrop of denial from the White House and Justice Department officials, creating a complex narrative.
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