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“Sunday Night in America” host Trey Gowdy weighed in on the ongoing situation surrounding the FBI's raid on former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida earlier this month.
TREY GOWDY: It looks like we will get to see part of the affidavit used to justify the search of former President Trump's home in Florida. Judge Bruce Reinhart did what judges often do, which is say yes and no. Yes, the public is entitled to see portions of the affidavit because there's a significant interest in the search of a former president's home. But no, the public won't see it all because there could be safety concerns for witnesses, or it could impact ongoing investigations.
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Prosecutors have until Thursday to propose redactions, and then the judge will decide whether those proposed redactions are reasonable. There are a couple of things we're thinking about between now and then. Even if we do get to see the affidavit, it's just one side of the argument, it's the government's side. The target of the search doesn't get to appear in front of a judge, and he doesn't get to argue against the search or the affidavit. The information has not been cross-examined and the rules of evidence, which do apply in court, don't apply to search warrants.
Secondly, it takes probable cause to search, but it takes a whole lot more than that to convict. Whatever is in the affidavit may or may not wind up being true or proven. And it certainly isn't the whole story because only the government participates in seeking a search warrant. We don't know, and we won't know until both sides present their facts and test the evidence on the other side.
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Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we should ask ourselves why. Why do we want to read the affidavit? How will it help us arrive at the truth? Do we want all the facts or are we content with just the facts that support what we already believe? Credible evidence is supposed to move us, to persuade us. Can we still be persuaded? Are minds still open for facts? If you're an ardent supporter of the former president, is there anything in this affidavit or anywhere else which could lead you to believe that he didn't follow the rules or the law? If you don't like or support the former president, is he still entitled to a legal presumption of innocence? Are you still open to the possibility that no crime has been committed? Does the evidence still matter? Or have people already made up their minds? Despite what others may tell you, waiting and wanting to see the evidence is good. It's even better when the jury hasn't already made up its mind.
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