Could the Trump Documents Be Released? Here's How It Might Play Out.




  • In Politics
  • 2022-08-12 17:46:57Z
  • By The New York Times
Demonstrators outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.
Demonstrators outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla.  

There are several ways the day could play out.

If former President Donald Trump reverses what he said late Thursday about encouraging the release of the search warrant executed at his Mar-a-Lago residence and decides to object, the document and the redacted inventory of items taken from his home are unlikely to come out Friday.

If Trump maintains no objection to the Justice Department's move to make the documents public, Judge Bruce Reinhart, the federal magistrate judge who approved the warrant, could issue an order unsealing them. Reinhart has given the Justice Department a 3 p.m. Eastern deadline to report back with Trump's position.

If the judge orders the documents unsealed, they might first become available on the court's online docket system, known as Pacer. If court officials are slow to docket the materials after an order to unseal, it is possible that the Justice Department could post the documents on its website or send them to reporters in an emailed news release.

And there is an important wild card: Trump has been free all along to release the documents without any redactions. But so far, he has been choosing not to do so, despite the fact that he called for their disclosure.

"Release the documents now!" he wrote on his social media site, Truth Social, on Thursday night.

That means Trump could release the documents via a news release of his own or by posting them for his followers on Truth Social.

© 2022 The New York Times Company

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