Read FBI's Unsealed Affidavit Justifying Trump Raid

A federal magistrate judge in Florida unsealed a redacted version of the affidavit behind the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home Friday in a blow to the Justice Department's efforts to protect its federal investigation.

After reviewing the DOJ's proposed redactions on Thursday, Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled that prosecutors showed compelling reason why portions of the affidavit should remained sealed and agreed with the narrowly tailored redactions. He ordered that the redacted version be released on or before noon on Friday.

The court order came more than two weeks after FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago, seizing 11 boxes of records—including classified materials—and four other sets of documents during their probe, according to a copy of the property receipt.

Trump had publicly called for the release of the document, urging courts to publicize an unredacted copy of the affidavit, which would provide more details about how the FBI had probable cause to search the Florida residence.

A number of media organizations have joined Trump in calling for its release, citing the historical significance of the unprecedented search of a former president's home.

Trump Mar-a-Lago Affidavit Unsealed
Former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is pictured on August 9. The underlying affidavit connected to the FBI's search of the property was unsealed by a federal judge on Thursday. Giorgio Viera/AFP

While the DOJ said it would not oppose the unsealing of a cover page and the sealing order, it argued that the unsealing of the affidavit could jeopardize its investigation by revealing the scope and direction of the probe.

Prosecutors argued the release would also hurt the ability of investigators to gain cooperation from witnesses, creating a chilling effect. The FBI has already interviewed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Patrick Philbin, among others, as part of its investigation.

The DOJ had requested that should Reinhart rule in Trump's favor, prosecutors be given the chance to provide proposed redactions for a "partial unsealing" but noted that those redactions would be "so extensive" that it would devoid the document of "meaningful content."

The search warrant obtained by the FBI, which references possible violations of the Espionage Act, was unsealed last week at the request of the Justice Department. However, the warrant does not include sensitive information that would be on the affidavit, including the reasons that prosecutors believed the FBI search would turn up evidence of a crime.

Thursday's release revealed that the DOJ's investigation began as a result of a referral the United States National Archives and Records Administration. There was also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction was to be found on the premises of Mar-a-Lago.

Two senior government officials previously told Newsweek that the information about the classified documents Trump took with him from the White House was largely based on what a confidential source told authorities.

Gregory Caldeira, a professor of law at the Ohio State University, also told Newsweek that the affidavit could include the name of the informant, which could "reveal the U.S.'s legal strategy." He said Trump, on the other hand, would want that person's name to be released "to put pressure on witnesses, and try to discredit the case." The name of the person who leaked information to the FBI was not included in the version of the affidavit unsealed on Friday.

Read the unsealed affidavit below: