As pressure to justify the raid of the former president’s home increases, the Department of Justice has agreed that they truly overstepped. Authorities said that the former president’s passports which the FBI seized, would be returned to him. In addition, they will also be returning documents with personal information on the former president and his attorneys.
This notification came on Monday in a mail made public by the former president’s representatives. Jay Bratt, a top official in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said in the email that agents determined the travel documents were unrelated to the search on the 8th of August for classified documents.
In addition, The FBI said in a statement that in executing search warrants, the agency “follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes.”
However, it seems like Biden’s administration still has other plans for these documents, as the return date for the former president’s property is estimated to be in about two weeks.
The Biden #DOJ and #FBI took Trump’s passports and now that that has been disclosed, agree to return them. What FBI agent didn’t recognize a passport and know that was beyond the scope of the search warrant?
— Michael D. Brown (@MichaelBrownUSA) August 16, 2022
Some anonymous sources have told the media that the Department of Justice has a designated process for separating materials that could be covered by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.
One official told the media, “Occasionally a warrant collection can grab things outside the scope authorized by the court and the department is now following a procedure we would for any person affected this way.”
This announcement came after The Daily Beast’s Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor, wrote, “Former President Donald Trump says the Department of Justice must ‘immediately’ return the documents seized from his office and residence at Mar-A-Lago because of alleged violations of ‘attorney-client’ material and ‘executive’ privileged material. This is, to put it plainly, completely bogus.”
Despite releasing the search warrant Friday, the Department of Justice still refused to release the affidavit that explained to a judge the probable cause that a crime was committed to justify the search.
They argued that unsealing the affidavit “would irreparably harm the government’s ongoing criminal investigation.” Releasing the information would be “highly likely to compromise future investigative steps” and could “chill future cooperation by witnesses.”
On this issue, even the DOJ cannot deny that they completely overstepped and that nothing they did was constitutional. They have also acted very guilty of a crime as the warrant they released was unnecessarily broad, which used to be unconstitutional. In addition, they had also taken his personal property without any right to do so. Furthermore, the fact that the department keeps hiding the affidavit that shows the reason behind the raid does nothing to liberate them from any accusation of injustice.
Getting a warrant for failing to turn in presidential records is suspicious enough. However, about 30 agents getting cleared to find these records is even more cynical, and the Department of Justice knows that. This explains why they are not trying to make things right by returning the former president’s properties. Since Biden and his assistants were caught in their lie this time, it is believed that they would not need much time to find something to pin against Trump, as usual.