The raid on former President Donald Trump's residence raised serious questions about the Justice Department's motivations. Newly released information does little to clarify that.
A judge approved the release Tuesday of more information from the previously redacted affidavit that was used to conduct the Aug. 8 raid on his Mar-a-Lago home, the Washington Examiner reported. The former president has yet to be charged with any crime, however.
The government purportedly was attempting to retrieve classified documents from Trump's Florida home because of the security risk they posed. Trump has said that he declassified them, though the legal document suggests that his legal team did not disclose that to the DOJ.
The affidavit claimed that Trump attorney Christina Bobb had signed off on a statement that all classified materials had been handed over to the incoming administration. However, the Justice Department contends that the manner in which an envelope was treated suggests otherwise.
"The documents being in a Redweld envelope wrapped in tape appears to be consistent with an effort to handle the documents as if they were still classified," the document further asserted. Because the president has the broad power to declassify documents, but it's unclear whether this applied.
Moreover, the affidavit also requested surveillance footage from Trump's residence going back to January 10 to ascertain who had access to the stored documents. National Archives and Records Administration officials went on to seize 15 boxes from Trump's Florida home just a week after that date.
The rationale is that Trump had cameras placed "in the vicinity of the STORAGE ROOM" where the since-recovered boxes of documents had been kept. The newly unredacted portions of the affidavit claimed the boxes contained "184 unique documents with classification markings."
There are still several questions unanswered despite the new revelations. Only time -- and diligent, fair legal work -- will tell whether there was any true cause to conduct such an unprecedented raid.