Published August 22, 2022
Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart will decide soon how much to reveal of the FBI’s affidavit that provided the basis for the search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. He should make virtually all of it public.
Such pre-indictment disclosure would be highly unusual in a normal investigation. Law enforcement needs to operate in a veil of secrecy to accumulate evidence. If targets learn what authorities know, they could more easily destroy evidence or intimidate potential witnesses, thereby hindering or effectively stopping the investigation. This clear public interest rightly overrides other concerns in a typical case.
Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.
Image from Jack Boucher on Wikimedia