- Attorney General Garland spent weeks deciding whether to sign the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
- Garland eventually signed on and defended her decision at a press conference.
- The Justice Department on Monday requested that the search warrant affidavit remain unsealed.
In the weeks leading up to the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, Attorney General Merrick Garland debated whether or not to sign the warrant, the report reported. Wall Street Journal.
Garland met with Justice Department and FBI officials for weeks before making the decision to personally approve the warrant application, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ.
Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick told the WSJ that Garland is “extremely cautious” and “understands the essential role of an attorney general in these circumstances.”
“He appreciates the context in which this is happening,” Gorelick told the WSJ. “I don’t think he considers politics at all, but I think he recognizes the seriousness of the actions against a former president.”
Following the search, FBI officials seized 11 sets of classified documents that Trump had stored in his home office in Palm Beach, Florida.
In the wake of attacks from GOP party leaders and increased threats against federal officials, Garland defended the FBI and DOJ, calling them “patriotic officials” during an August 11 press conference.
“I will not remain silent when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” Garland told reporters.
Garland also made the decision to unseal the warrant he signed after Trump’s “public confirmation of the search, surrounding circumstances and substantial public interest in the matter.”
Before Garland unsealed the warrant, Trump, through an intermediary, reportedly asked Garland how he could “turn the heat down” following the national outcry over the search.
On Monday, the Justice Department asked that the search warrant affidavit remain sealed, saying its release would cause “significant and irreparable damage” to an ongoing investigation that “involves national security.”
The DOJ did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.