As we reported, Attorney General Merrick Garland moved to block the unsealing of the affidavit which would reveal the reasons for the FBI raid on President Donald Trump’s home. The claim was that they didn’t want the release to prejudice the investigation. But even if they wanted to preserve the investigation, they could still redact parts and/or Garland could just give the rationale for the raid without revealing the rest of the investigation. That is, if he cared about transparency and wanted to reassure the public that this wasn’t all political. But he hasn’t done that.
While Garland is trying to keep the affidavit under wraps, we’re seeing “leaks” right and left from the FBI to the media, with stories such as the one in the New York Times, claiming that officials saw things on a surveillance security tape that “alarmed them” and that there might be more material that hadn’t been turned over yet.
So while the DOJ/FBI are blocking the release of what they swore to a judge, they’re leaking things that they want to be leaked out there to the media. And who knows whether there’s any reality to any of that? No one gets in trouble for lying to the media or spreading nonsense to them. But it’s typically amorphous anyway — what does that even mean, they saw things that “alarmed them”? That’s like random reports about “nuclear” things. It’s nonsense until there are real facts on the table and not unconfirmed leaks.
It’s what we’ve always seen when it comes to Trump and the left: all kinds of nonsense leaked to the media as though it were real. Then it gets spread everywhere and people take it as gospel.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley is calling out the duplicity of all this.
The latest leak suggests that the FBI acted on a subpoenaed security tape from outside the storage room at Mar-a-Lago. While the DOJ demands a total seal on the affidavit to protect the integrity of the investigation, these details continue to be selectively leaked…
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 17, 2022
Turley notes that while Garland’s people are leaking, he “has not taken even modest measures to assure the public that this is not a politically motivated investigation. Turley said it was unlikely the Court would reject the DOJ demand that the affidavit remains sealed “However, that offers little transparency while these confidential sources continue to frame the coverage through these leaks,” he said. “It is the leaking from the Justice Department that is fueling speculation. While Garland says that he is deeply concerned about people questioning the integrity of his Department, he has done little to quell such speculation or to address these concerns.”
The Court is supposed to hear the question about the unsealing of the affidavit on Thursday. But it’s hard to argue that there’s a problem with unsealing the affidavit when the FBI appears to be leaking right and left on the subject. How can it endanger national security if they’re already spreading stuff out there?
This says everything when it comes to transparency and being political.