America First Legal Demands Justice Department Release Video Recordings From Trump Raid

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
August 17, 2022 Updated: August 17, 2022

America First Legal filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding the Justice Department release video and audio recordings as well as body camera footage from the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago last week.

“Releasing the entirety of the raw and unedited video footage and audio recordings will be the best chance the American people have of knowing what actually happened when federal agents descended upon and spent almost twelve hours at President Trump’s home last week,” the group said Tuesday in announcing the FOIA request.

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and top Trump administration adviser Stephen Miller founded the group last year.

The group is asking for all Department of Justice and FBI recordings regarding the search warrant and all records about its request, according to several FOIA requests.

“While we expect—and have witnessed—dishonesty and obfuscation at almost every turn from this administration, the raw video footage and audio recordings that were taken during the raid may be the American people’s best chance to know about the Department of Justice’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s conduct during the raid,” John Zadrozny, deputy director of investigations with American First Legal, said in the statement.

Sealed Affidavit

Last week, several organizations including news outlets and watchdogs asked a judge in the case to release the FBI search warrant and property receipt, which were unsealed by the court on Aug. 12. Now, Republicans and Trump are seeking the release of the affidavit, which would provide more insight into the justification the federal government used to procure a warrant.

The Department of Justice on Monday argued in a court filing that the affidavit—even in its redacted form—should not be released to the public. Releasing the legal document, the agency’s lawyers said, would damage their investigation.

The affidavit allegedly contains “critically important and detailed investigative facts” and releasing it would damage an “ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security.”

“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the filing said.

Nonetheless, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered a Thursday afternoon hearing on whether to release the affidavit.

Neither the FBI nor Justice Department has elaborated on the nature of the investigation in public statements, with only Attorney General Merrick Garland announcing in a press conference that he personally approved seeking the FBI search warrant.

Republicans and Trump’s team say the affidavit should be released, in part, because of the FBI’s unprecedented raid on a former president and a possible 2024 presidential candidate.

The Epoch Times has contacted the Department of Justice and the FBI for comment.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.