Merrick Garland pondered Trump’s decision to grant the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago for weeks, the report said, highlighting its “extremely cautious” nature.

  • Attorney General Garland spent weeks deciding whether to sign the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.

  • Garland eventually signed on and defended his decision to do so during a press conference.

  • The Justice Department on Monday requested that the search warrant affidavit be unsealed.

In the weeks leading up to the Aug. 8 FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, Attorney General Merrick Garland debated whether to sign a warrant, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Garland met with Justice Department and FBI officials for weeks before deciding to personally approve the warrant application, sources familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorlick told the WSJ that Garland is “very careful” and “understands the important role of the attorney general in these circumstances.”

“He appreciates the context in which this is happening,” Gorelik told the WSJ. “I don’t think they don’t understand politics at all, but I think they recognize the seriousness of the actions against the former president.”

As a result of the search, FBI officials seized 11 sets of classified documents that Trump had stored at his home office in Palm Beach, Florida.

After attacks from GOP leaders and increased threats to federal officials, Garland defended the FBI and DOJ during an August 11 press conference, calling them “patriotic public servants.”

“I will not stand idly by when his integrity is unfairly attacked,” Garland told reporters.

Garland also decided to terminate the warrant he signed after Trump’s “public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and substantial public interest in the matter.”

Before sealing Garland’s warrant, Trump reportedly asked Garland through an intermediary how he could “turn down the heat” after the national uproar over the search.

On Monday, the Justice Department requested that the search warrant affidavit be sealed, saying its release would cause “significant and irreparable harm” to the ongoing investigation that “affects national security.”

The DOJ did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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