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US federal agents were looking for documents relating to nuclear weapons when they raided former President Donald Trump's home in Florida this week, according to The Washington Post (WP), Reuters reported.

It was not clear if such documents were recovered at the former president's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the Post said.

The US Justice Department asked a judge on Thursday to make public the warrant that authorized the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, after Trump, a Republican, portrayed it as political retribution.

The request means the public could soon learn more about what investigators were looking for during the unprecedented search of a former president's home.

The search was part of an investigation into whether Trump illegally removed records from the White House as he left office in January 2021, some of which the Justice Department believes are classified.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, the top law enforcement officer and an appointee of Democratic President Joe Biden, told a news conference that he had personally approved the search. The Justice Department also seeks to make public a redacted receipt of the items seized.

"The department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," Garland said.

Garland said the Justice Department made the request to make public the warrant "in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter."

A source familiar with the matter said the FBI retrieved about 10 boxes from Trump's property during the search.

Trump was not in Florida at the time of the search.

The government has until 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday to let the court know whether Trump's attorneys will object to unsealing the warrant. The case is before US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who reviewed the warrant to ensure the Justice Department had sufficient probable cause for the search.

While seeking to unseal the warrant, the Justice Department has not asked the judge to unseal the sworn statement in support of the warrant, the contents of which could potentially include classified information.

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