The Department of Justice asked a judge to keep the affidavit sealed for the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in order to preserve an ongoing criminal investigation.
The development comes during a national debate over whether the FBI search at the residence of former President Donald Trump was a justifiable law enforcement action or if it was inappropriately motivated by politics.
“Disclosure of the government’s affidavit at this stage would also likely chill future cooperation by witnesses whose assistance may be sought as this investigation progresses, as well as in other high-profile investigations,” the Justice Department argued.
“The fact that this investigation implicates highly classified materials further underscores the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and exacerbates the potential harm if information is disclosed to the public prematurely or improperly,” they added.
CNN, the Washington Post, NBC News and various other news organizations have asked for the affidavit to be unsealed.
The Department of Justice added that unsealing the affidavit could “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.”
Law expert Neal Katyal tweeted his approval of the request from the DOJ.
"DOJ is appropriately resisting disclosure of the Mar A Lago search affidavit because it will compromise their ongoing investigation," Katyal wrote. "This is very standard and right. That said, what they said -- especially about witnesses -- will invariably drive Trump to be even more worried."
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said that the request was a "cover up" in a statement on Twitter.
"Biden DOJ refuses @JudicialWatch court request to release affidavit used to justify warrant for sham raid on Trump's home," he tweeted.
Trump has blasted the search at his home and accused the Biden administration of corrupting the law enforcement powers of the executive branch for the sake of political expedience.
On Friday, a judge unsealed the search warrant and property receipt for the search and revealed that 11 sets of classified documents had been removed from Mar-a-Lago.
Here's a news report about the development:
Federal Prosecutors Ask To Keep Trump Search Warrant Affidavit Sealed www.youtube.com