Judge approves partial release of affidavit into Mar-a-Lago search

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He also said the nation was in a “volatile” state and that releasing sensitive information could “chill” current and future witnesses.

“This is not a precedent we want to set,” said Bratt. “The government is very concerned about the safety of witnesses in this case.”

Reinhart, however – whose own life has been threatened by Trump supporters since he signed off on the warrant – said he was “not prepared to find that the affidavit should be fully sealed”.

He has given the department until midday next Thursday (US time) to suggest which portions should remain a secret before making a final decision.

The battle over the affidavit is the latest development in the ongoing criminal investigation stemming from Trump’s decision to take sensitive documents from the White House when his term ended last year.

But while Trump on Monday used his Truth Social platform to call for the affidavit to be released unredacted “in the interest of TRANSPARENCY”, his lawyers have so far not filed a motion to support this push.

Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of Trump Organization Inc., center, departs from criminal court in New York, on Sept. 20, 2021. Credit:Washington Post

Meanwhile, in a New York courthouse about 1900 kilometres away, another legal case involving the former president had a significant development: a former executive of the Trump Organisation pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud and other charges.

Allen Weisselberg, the long-time top financial officer of the company who spent decades as one of Trump’s closest business associates, was indicted last year for a scheme in which he and the company concealed certain financial compensation to avoid paying taxes.

The indictment alleges that the Trump Organisation paid the rent and bills for a Manhattan apartment where Weisselberg lived and paid the leases for his Mercedes-Benz, but failed to report this to evade paying taxes – hiding about $1.7 million from authorities over more than a decade.

He initially insisted he was innocent but issued a guilty plea on Friday(AEST) and agreed to testify at a pending trial against the Trump Organisation if called to do so.

Protesters in front of Trump Tower in New York after the raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Protesters in front of Trump Tower in New York after the raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate.Credit:AP

As part of his plea agreement, the 75-year-old would spend five months in jail, followed by five years of probation, rather than risk the possibility of a much higher prison sentence.

While Trump and his allies have branded the case as yet another “witch hunt” by Democrats, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement that Friday’s plea agreement “directly implicates” the Trump Organisation in a “wide range of criminal activity”.

“Furthermore, thanks to the incredibly hard work and dedication of the team prosecuting this case, Weisselberg will spend time behind bars,” he said. “We look forward to proving our case in court against the Trump Organisation.”

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