Judge who signed Trump search warrant is targeted; critics seek 'judgment of God'
The entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is shown Monday in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump said in a lengthy statement the FBI had conducted a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broke open a safe. Photo by Terry Renna/The Associated Press.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart of Florida is at the center of controversy after signing the search warrant for the Aug. 8 search on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.
Users of Truth Social, Trump’s social media platform, are calling for Reinhart to face “the judgment of God,” Law.com reports. What appear to be Reinhart’s phone number and home address have been posted online.
Reinhart’s political donations and connection to the case of multimillionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein are also receiving scrutiny, according to Law.com and the Palm Beach Post.
One Republican senator, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, noted Reinhart’s donation to the presidential campaign in 2008 of former President Barack Obama without mentioning his 2016 donation to the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush, a Republican.
News stories are reporting on Reinhart’s representation of people connected to convicted sex offender Epstein, died by suicide while awaiting a sex-trafficking trial.
Reinhart’s contact information and biography are no longer available on the website for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to previous reporting by Law.com. The information was removed after Reinhart received threats, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told the Palm Beach Post.
“I hear he’s getting threats, that his information was taken down from the judicial directory, and he’s the object of vitriol from supporters of the former president,” Aronberg said.
“The whole backlash against him is unfair, and it’s really damaging for our judicial system to have people believe that when a judge issues a search warrant, it must be for some nefarious reason,” Aronberg said.
Retired U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania spoke with Law.com about his concerns about the need for Congress to expand security for lower-level federal judges. Congress passed legislation to extend U.S. Supreme Court security to justices’ families and senior officers of the court but stopped short of expanding security for other federal judges, he said.
“From the appellate courts down to magistrate judges, Congress failed,” Jones said.
Other experts spoke with Law.com about the need for experts and bar associations to explain the search warrant process and to counter mischaracterizations.
Reinhart is also getting support from those who worked with him over the years, according to the Palm Beach Post. Former prosecutor Ellen Cohen told the Palm Beach Post that Reinhart was meticulous in examining applications for search warrants.
“Every time I brought a search warrant to him, and I brought many, he read it, digested it and asked questions,” Cohen told the Palm Beach Post. “He wasn’t someone who would sign off on it just because the government presented it to him.”
Reinhart is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, a former trial attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, a former federal prosecutor and a former criminal defense lawyer.
ABAJournal.com: “DOJ files motion to unseal warrant, property receipt relating to search of Trump’s home”