What Time Is the Donald Trump Warrant Unsealed?

The Justice Department is moving to unseal the warrant to search Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, after the former president's allies pressed for an explanation for the FBI raid.

The motion passed by Justice Department lawyers to unseal the warrant says that "the public's clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing."

The warrant could be unsealed as soon as this afternoon, if Trump's legal team does not object.

"The former President should have an opportunity to respond to this Motion and lodge objections, including with regards to any 'legitimate privacy interests' or the potential for other 'injury' if these materials are made public," the Justice Department's statement reads.

Trump search warrant
Attorney General Merrick Garland delivers a statement at the U.S. Department of Justice on August 11, 2022 in Washington, D.C. Garland addressed the FBI's recent search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, announcing the Justice Department has filed a motion to unseal the search warrant. If Trump's legal team doesn't oppose the motion, the search warrant could be unsealed this afternoon. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Trump's lawyers have the power to delay or block the release of the material by opposing the motion to release the search warrant, a move which is available to them until 3 p.m. ET. But it's unlikely they'll do so, as Trump himself has said he is in favor of the unsealing of the warrant.

"Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago. I am going a step further by encouraging the immediate release of these documents," Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social on Thursday night.

Trump had—and still has—the right to reveal the search warrant himself, but has so far refused to do so despite calls from across the political spectrum.

If Trump's legal team doesn't stand in the way of the search warrant being unsealed, Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed it, will oversee the unsealing process as early as this afternoon, after the 3 p.m. deadline.

Reinhart, who has been targeted with death threats and antisemitic abuse since news of the raid reached Trump's supporters, had ordered the Justice Department to answer a motion to unseal the warrant by August 15.

The motion to unseal it is indicative of how high the stakes are in this case, as these kinds of documents are usually kept sealed as an investigation is unfolding.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who had refused to break his silence on the FBI search, declared on Thursday that he personally signed off the raid conducted on Monday after "less intrusive means" of retrieving the documents taken by the former president failed to obtain any results.

According to Garland's statement, Trump's counsel was served a copy of the warrant and the FBI property receipt on the day of the search, while the Justice Department did not make any public statement on the day regarding the raid.

"The search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause," said Garland.

"The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter," the attorney general added.

Neither Trump nor the FBI have yet confirmed what documents were retrieved at the former president's residence.

According to sources close to the investigation mentioned by the Washington Post, the FBI was looking for classified documents relating to nuclear weapons, among others.