Judge Reveals More Of Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant Affidavit
A federal magistrate judge reveals more of Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavitused by the FBI to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald J. Trump's private club and residence in Florida. The newly revealed details provide insights into the surveillance footage and actions of Walt Nauta, a personal aide to Mr. Trump, who was observed moving boxes in and out of a storage room just before federal prosecutors arrived to collect any sensitive records remaining in the former president's possession.
The unredacted sections of the affidavit disclosed that prosecutors relied, in part, on surveillance footage from cameras near a storage room in the basement of Mar-a-Lago. The footage captured Walt Nauta moving dozens of boxes in and out of the room prior to the arrival of federal prosecutors.
The affidavit included a photograph displaying the boxes in the storage room and provided a detailed description of the security camera angles outside the room. It noted that the door to the storage room was painted gold and lacked any additional markings, located midway up the wall and accessible by several wooden stairs.
According to the indictment issued in Miami last month, Walt Nauta removed 64 boxes from the Mar-a-Lago storage room between May 24, 2022, and June 1, 2022. However, only 25 or 30 of these boxes were returned. The whereabouts of the unreturned boxes remain unknown. The affidavit also highlighted that federal prosecutors suspected the presence of additional classified materials at Mar-a-Lago, even after previous attempts to retrieve documents.
The surveillance footage involving Walt Nauta was just one piece of evidence supporting this belief. A sealed section of the affidavit contained further undisclosed information regarding these suspicions.
Judge Bruce E. Reinhart, who issued the Mar-a-Lago search warrant in August of the previous year, unsealed the additional portions of the affidavit. This development comes after two previous orders by Judge Reinhart to unseal separate parts of the warrant affidavit in response to media requests. The unredacted sections included a photograph of the boxes in the storage room and shed light on the surveillance footage and box movements.
Judge Reinhart not only presided over the unsealing of the warrant affidavit but also oversees the prosecution of Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta. The former president's lawyer, M. Evan Corcoran, previously handed over a batch of 38 classified documents to the government, but the newly unredacted affidavit revealed that the lawyers did not inform prosecutors of any declassification by Mr. Trump.
Furthermore, the affidavit contradicted Mr. Corcoran's claim that there were no classified records in any private office space or other areas at Mar-a-Lago, as the subsequent search proved otherwise. As a result, Mr. Corcoran was compelled to provide records and testify before a grand jury, bypassing the usual attorney-client privilege protections.
Judge orders release of more Mar-a-Lago search warrant information in Trump docs case
The unsealing of the additional portions of the affidavit provides further insights into the ongoing investigation and legal proceedings involving the search for classified materials at Mar-a-Lago. As the case unfolds, more revelations are expected to emerge, shedding light on the extent of classified materials held by the former president.