A CNN legal affairs correspondent has offered his opinion as to whom he believes leaked a copy of the Justice Department’s search warrant for the raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week.
In an interview with the network’s host Laura Coates, correspondent Evan Perez said he thinks Trump himself leaked the warrant to Breitbart News, though he did not say that specifically.
“There’s been an unprecedented number of threats in the wake of that search, including threatening against the two agents who signed the court documents,” the host said before asking: “First of all, why do people know the names of those two agents? Because it was supposed to have been redacted.”
“It was redacted. It was redacted by the court when the document was released. However, before it was released by the court, before it was officially released someone – I think we know who – managed to get it to right wing news organizations, and at least one of them published a document in total, including the names of those federal agents who were simply doing their job,” he responded.
“They went there to do their job, and then the former president’s social media platform pushed out that information, so, now it’s everywhere among his supporters,” Perez continued. “And of course predictably, those people are now having to be protected because there are threats against them.”
The agents who searched his home uncovered 11 boxes of classified documents, with some marked as “top secret,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation agents took around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Mr. Trump’s ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows. Also included in the list was information about the “President of France,” according to the three-page list. The list is contained in a seven-page document that also includes the warrant to search the premises which was granted by a federal magistrate judge in Florida.
The list includes references to one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.
Attorney General Merrick said on Thursday he “personally approved” the search against Trump.
“Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor,” Garland said.
“Much of our work is by necessity conducted out of the public eye. We do that to protect the Constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations,” he said.
“The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” he told reporters.