The United States Department of Justice on Monday opposed the release of a court document purporting to explain the reasons that led federal investigators to conduct an unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s home last week.
• Also read: Trump claims the FBI ‘stole’ his passports.
• Also read: Donald Trump demands the return of his documents seized by the FBI
The deployment of federal police to his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida – a first for an ex-president – sparked a political storm, with Mr Trump and his supporters denouncing a “witch hunt”.
Several organizations, including the media, had asked a judge to issue a court document in which investigators usually explain why the search was necessary.
The Justice Department assured Monday that such a release “would irreparably harm ongoing law enforcement investigations,” according to a court document.
On Friday, at the request of the public prosecutor’s office, a judge published the search warrant and a list of the documents confiscated.
But unlike the first document requested for release this time, the document contains “very sensitive information about witnesses,” techniques used by the police and “extremely important facts about the investigation,” the ministry estimated.
Its release could reveal investigators’ strategy and “endanger the success of the next investigative steps,” he added.
According to the documents revealed on Friday, the judiciary suspects the Republican of violating an American espionage law that regulates the possession of confidential documents very strictly. The list of confiscated items includes numerous documents classified as “top secret”.
Donald Trump, who was set to restart the White House race in 2024, gave assurances that those documents had been declassified.
On Monday, the Republican said he saw his passports confiscated during the search and said he was the victim of “an assault on a political opponent unlike any we have seen in our country.”