Devin Nunes: Expect Mar-a-Lago affidavit leaks
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) is raising exceptions for leaks about the affidavit underlying the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Nunes, who is now the CEO of former President Donald Trump’s social media company, said leaks “in the coming weeks” will likely happen in tandem with a drawn-out battle in court in which the Justice Department will “slow-roll” the disclosure of evidence.
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“Before this thing is ever even put out to the public you can bet that there will be a leak,” he told Newsmax host Rob Schmitt on Friday. He predicted a bombshell leak will happen the night before and people will view it as being “the worst thing ever.” Suggesting a leak could again mention “nuclear secrets,” alluding to a report that already emerged from the FBI raid further escalating national security concerns, Nunes guessed there will be more people saying, “Trump’s going to be indicted.” He added, “That’s what’s coming for the American people. I promise you.”
FBI agents found several classified documents during their search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Aug. 8, with some documents being considered the highest level of classification, according to the unsealed search warrant documents that have been released. The unsealed warrant showed the former president is being investigated for possible violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice.
The affidavit detailing the justification for such a search has not been released — prompting criticism from Republicans and from Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing. On his Truth Social platform, Trump demanded the “immediate release” of the affidavit “in the interest of TRANSPARENCY.”
The Justice Department argued making the affidavit public would cause “irreparable harm” to its criminal investigation, subject witnesses to threats, and deter witness cooperation. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled on Friday that he would make public — with redactions — the DOJ motion to seal the warrant and affidavit, the previous court order sealing those records, and the criminal cover sheet for the search warrant. Reinhart also indicated that he may partially unseal the affidavit itself, ordering the Justice Department to file a redacted version of the raid affidavit by next Thursday.
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Nunes also said he expects the Justice Department to “doctor” the “outcome” by slow-walking the release of evidence, noting he was drawing from his experience investigating the Trump-Russia inquiry while in Congress.
His successor as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), spoke on Sunday about what could be learned from the affidavit, and he also voiced concerns about the risks of disclosing too much.
“You could learn what witnesses may have seen in terms of the handling of those documents or people coming and going from where the documents were located. You could learn about whether representations were made that proved to be false, in terms of whether they had given up the classified information. You could learn a great deal.” Schiff said on State of the Union. “That’s just the problem, though, for the Justice Department. I think probably their concern is very legitimate. That is that, if this affidavit is revealed, it will put those sources of information at risk. We have seen the president retaliate against anyone he considers a whistleblower, accuse them of treason.”