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Who Is Bruce Reinhart? Judge Who Approved FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid

Newsweek 8/10/2022 Darragh Roche
Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. The FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday. © Brandon Bell/Getty Images Former U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC held at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. The FBI raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday.

The judge who reportedly signed off on an FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence previously represented some employees of Jeffrey Epstein and has made donations to candidates from both political parties.

Trump lawyer Christina Bobb said that federal magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that permitted the FBI raid on the former president's Florida property in Palm Beach on Monday.

Reinhart has been a magistrate judge since 2018. Magistrate judges are appointed by district judges to deal with matters including bond hearings and signing off on search warrants.

He previously served as a federal prosecutor before going on to act as defense counsel for some employees of Epstein, the late convicted sex offender.

The judge studied at Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania and went on to work at the U.S. Treasury Department and in the Department of Justice's public integrity section.

Reinhart also spent more than 11 years as an assistant U.S. attorney, but ceased to be a federal prosecutor on January 1, 2008. The next day, Reinhart began working as a defense attorney for certain Epstein employees.

Those employees reportedly included pilots, a scheduler named Sarah Kellen, and a woman whom some of Epstein's victims said was his sex slave, according to a 2018 report in The Miami Herald.

The newspaper also reported in 2011 that Reinhart was named in a lawsuit and accused of violating Justice Department policy by representing the Epstein employees. He denied any wrongdoing and said he didn't participate in the criminal case against Epstein or learn any confidential information while working as a federal prosecutor.

Reinhart has also previously donated to both Democratic and Republican political campaigns. In 2008, he gave $1,000 to former President Barack Obama's campaign and a further $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund.

In 2016, Reinhart donated $500 to the presidential campaign of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination that was eventually won by Trump.

He has also donated $4,550 to a number of other candidates in the past, including Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, a Democrat. Aronberg previously worked for Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Aronberg told Politico on Tuesday that Reinhart is "known for being meticulous."

"He's not going to make a snap judgment," Aronberg said.

The FBI reportedly removed around a dozen boxes from Mar-a-Lago on Monday and the raid has been met with fury from the former president and his allies in the Republican Party.

"What took place yesterday, and long before, was an unprecedented infringement of the rights of every American citizen," Trump posted on his social media site, TRUTH Social, on Tuesday.

"Scam after Scam, year after year, it is all the Radical Left Democrats really know, it is their lifeblood - they have no shame. Our Country is paying a very big price!!!" the former president said.

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