Statement on Behalf of Jeffrey Clark re: December 15 U.S. District Court Order Unsealing Search Warrant Privilege Rulings

The mantra of the Department of Justice has long been that the confidentiality of ongoing criminal investigations is sacrosanct.  Today we learn that the Department has inexplicably requested a federal judge to unseal proceedings, right on the eve of a heavily hyped January 6 Committee meeting on Monday and final report release on Wednesday of next week, where the proceedings are related to a court ordered search of potentially privileged material in an uncharged case.  It is incumbent on those at the Department who sought this unsealing to explain why doing so is anything other than a calculated move to increase pressure on those being scrutinized as part of the investigation and to prejudice a possible future jury pool.

The released orders should raise the alarm that approving absurdly broad searches of personal data in digital devices and accounts is tantamount to the odious “general warrants” the Founding Fathers warned us of so long ago and that the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. These developments are particularly troubling in the context of a Department of Justice investigation into political opponents from a prior administration of an opposing political party.
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