About The Magistrate Judge Who Issued The Mar-a-Lago Warrant
I saw references to Bruce Reinhart last night, and the fact that he had previously defended Jeffrey Epstein (who didn’t kill himself). Commenter ML has also drawn attention to the matter. Technically, that’s not legally relevant—everyone is entitled to legal representation. The ethics of a defense lawyer should be judged by the quality of his representation, rather than the identity of his client. However …
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“Emerging details” paint a disturbing picture. I had originally assumed that Reinhart is a District Court judge. But he’s not. That’s a problem in a case like this. Here are two tweets that I got via Red State that paint a fuller picture:
My take is simply this. I would have expected DoJ to take their application to a “real judge” just to give a greater appearance of legitimacy to the whole proceeding—to give the impression of going the extra mile to be fair. They didn’t bother, and that’s “troubling.” Moreover, Reinhart himself could have sought guidance from higher ups. I know from personal experience that this can and does happen—or that higher ups do sometimes intervene.
Here’s Bonchie’s further comment:
The warrant was rubber-stamped by Magistrate Judge named Bruce Reinhardt. As Ron Coleman points out, that’s highly suspect given the profile of the situation.
Why did a low-level, unconfirmed, unappointed magistrate judge sign off on the most consequential FBI warrant in decades? If any warrant application demanded the eyes of a real judge, it would be one targeting the former President of the United States. Yet, this judge was happy to give the FBI what they wanted while the FBI was happy to accept.
Let’s be real about this. I’m not defending the FBI, but warrant applications are not argued by the FBI. It’s DoJ through the local US Attorney’s office.
That seems almost inconsequential, though, compared to what else we now know about Reinhardt. Astonishingly, he quit his job as a prosecutor to go work for infamous sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s associates, and he helped secure immunity deals for many of the low-life enablers who surrounded Epstein.
But it’s actually worse than that. It’s not just that he went from being a prosecutor to being a defense lawyer for Epstein overnight. According to the USAO in MIami, Reinhart as a prosecutor had confidential information regarding the Epstein case and then quit to go to work for Epstein. This is hold your nose stuff at best, and should have disqualified him from becoming a Magistrate Judge—in my opinion. The fact that the USAO “disputed” Reinhart’s statements in that regard—i.e., called him a liar—is another reason why he should never have been in the position he was in when he signed off on the warrant:
Seems like Reinhart has a knack for attracting unusual controversy...
Off-topic, but it was a magistrate who granted a DOJ request to quash an arrest warrant for the fugitive terrorist Elizabeth Ann Duke in 2009. Not only did the magistrate not have a right to do so, but she falsely claimed that the DOJ lawyer had given good reason for the request (no reason at all was given). When this was brought to the court's attention in a suit filed a year later, DC Circuit Court Judge Merrick Garland supported the magistrate's dismissal of the arrest warrant and repeated the falsehood that good reason had been given by DOJ. Duke was associated with the Weathermen and had become a fugitive in 1985.