A newly unsealed copy of the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit with fewer redactions shows how federal prosecutors grew suspicious of former President Trump and his attorneys in the weeks leading up to the August raid on the property.
The text beneath the newly removed redactions chronicles several key moments in the government’s ongoing investigation, including a June 3 visit by Jay Bratt, the DOJ’s top counterintelligence official, to Mar-a-Lago.
Bratt arrived with three FBI agents to receive documents in response to a grand jury subpoena that demanded Trump turn over records “bearing classification markings.”
There, the officials met with two people: Trump attorney Evan Corcoran, and Christina Bobb, the former OAN host who, in the DOJ’s telling, was the “custodian of records” for the documents.
Per the newly unredacted portions of the affidavit, Corcoran told the FBI that “he was advised all the records that came from the White House were stored in one location within Mar-a-Lago, the STORAGE ROOM,” and that the boxes of records located in the room were the “remaining repository” of Trump’s White House records.
“FPOTUS COUNSEL 1 further stated he was not advised there were any records in any private office space or other location in Mar-a-Lago,” the affidavit reads, referring to Corcoran.
But when agents arrived at Mar-a-Lago in August, they purportedly found records in a search of both the office and other locations outside the storage room. The affidavit doesn’t specify whether Corcoran’s client in the matter — Trump — or another party “advised” him.
Other details spring out of the newly released portions. Trump appears to have gotten another extension from the FBI on responding to the grand jury subpoena before the June 3 meeting. When agents arrived, they “observed that approximately fifty to fifty-five boxes remained in the STORAGE ROOM.”
Bobb, who signed a statement saying that all documents had been turned over in response to the grand jury subpoena, is noted as having “provided a Certification Letter.” The remainder of the section, after the text of the letter itself, is redacted.
After the June interaction, the affidavit says, prosecutors obtained a subpoena for footage from video surveillance cameras operated by the Trump Organization at Mar-a-Lago.
That June 24 subpoena demanded footage from Jan. 10 until the date of service — a time period that covers nearly the entire timeframe from when Trump first agreed to allow the National Archives to retrieve 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago.
After NARA employees found classified-marked records in the boxes, they referred the matter to the FBI. The subpoena for footage covers the entirety of the government’s criminal investigation.
What the DOJ found on the footage remains under seal.