The ongoing criminal probe into government records stashed at Trump's Florida home has involved a number of civilian witnesses whose safety could be jeopardized if their identities were made public.
According to the court filing, the judge who issued the warrant for the search of Trump's residence received legal arguments from Trump's attorneys before doing so.
The arguments came in the form of a letter. The Justice Department could face criminal charges over the presence of classified records at Mar-a-Lago.
The government has low public trust. Adherence to the rules is essential at this time. Donald J. Trump is a Republican. The Department of Justice is part of the Executive Branch and is under the control of a president from the other party. It is critical that every effort is made to make sure that the actions of the DOJ don't involve politics.
The June 3 meeting between Trump, his attorneys and DOJ officials at Mar-a-Lago was preceded by a letter. Trump has described his interactions with the DOJ as friendly, with aides noting that he shook hands with one of the DOJ officials. The accounts didn't mention the increased tensions reflected in the letter.
The DOJ asked Trump to put a lock on his storage facility after the meeting. The request was more alarm than Trump said, according to the affidavit.
The DOJ stated in a letter that Mar-a-Lago does not have a secure location for storing classified information. Since the time when classified documents were removed from the secure facilities at the White House and moved to Mar-a-Lago, they have not been handled in an appropriate way.
In his May 25 letter, Corcoran said that presidents have the authority to declassify documents.
Some of Trump's allies have claimed that he took materials from the Oval Office to the White House residence or other locations in order to declassify them.
The affidavit that was made public Friday contains a reference to a claim made by a former adviser to the president that he had declassified many of the records.
After the affidavit was made public, Trump complained of heavy redactions and noted that the word "nuclear" wasn't mentioned despite reports that documents related to America's nuclear secrets were among the cache held at Mar-a-Lago. Trump didn't say whether or not the documents were in fact among them, only that there was no mention of them.
Trump said that he should not have been involved in the search because he should have taken a break from it. Trump did not attempt to intervene in the matter to either help shape the redaction process or to formally seek the magistrate's recusal.
According to a technical reading of a federal statute, it does not apply to the president, according to a letter written by the author. He didn't discuss whether or not a former president would be immune from prosecution.
The prosecutors included the letter in their submission to the judge. They didn't cite the criminal statute as a reason for the search. The Espionage Act, theft of government records and obstruction of justice are all criminal statutes.
The legal saga that poses an acute threat to the former president has taken a new turn with the partial release of the affidavit.
The National Archives told the Justice Department in the spring that Trump had "highly classified" materials in a Mar-a-Lago storage room. The DOJ believed that not all of it had been returned. The FBI's access to the retrieved documents was delayed by Trump's attorneys. The department obtained a search warrant in order to try and get some of the materials that it thought were at Mar-a-Lago.
The release of the affidavit behind the warrant came after a request from media organizations and a conservative group.
The Justice Department warned that redactions needed to protect the integrity of the investigation and to prevent harm to individuals would make the affidavit meaningless. The department decided not to appeal the decision to release acensored version of the affidavit.
The proposed redactions were submitted to the court by prosecutors. The judge ordered prosecutors to redact elements of the affidavit that would reveal the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and un charged parties.
The FBI discovered highly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, and some of the deletions are meant to shield investigators from their sources. The Justice Department has noted an increase in violent threats against those connected to the Trump probe.
The exact reasons for most of the redactions were not revealed Friday, but at least some of them were made public on the basis of agent safety.