The judge who signed the search warrant authorizing the FBI raid Monday of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was a donor to President Obama and represented employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the New York Post reported Tuesday, citing named sources.
Judge Bruce Reinhart represented several of Epstein’s employees, including his pilots, scheduler Sarah Kellen, and Nadia Marcinkova, who Epstein once reportedly described as his “Yugoslavian sex slave,” according to the Miami Herald.
Epstein’s death in his Manhattan prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges was officially ruled a suicide.
Federal prosecutors granted immunity to Kellen, Marcinkova and others in the controversial 2007 deal that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes. Epstein was granted work release in the case after serving only 13 months in county jail.
At the White House on Tuesday, Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said President Biden was not briefed ahead of the predawn raid Monday on Trump’s South Florida home.
A reporter asked if Biden was concerned that the raid of the home of a potential 2024 presidential election opponent had the appearance of being politically motivated.
“The Justice Department conducts investigations independently, and we leave any law enforcement matters to them,” Jean-Pierre replied. “It would not be appropriate for us to comment on any ongoing investigations.”
She referred reporters to Biden’s statement when he nominated Merrick Garland as attorney general of the “need to restore the honor and integrity of the Justice Department” after it allegedly had been “so badly damaged” by the Trump administration.
Trump said in a statement Monday that such “an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries.”
“Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before,” he said.
The Herald reported Reinhart resigned from the South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office on New Year’s Day 2008 and began representing Epstein’s employees the next day.
He is one of three federal magistrate judges in the West Palm Beach offices of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District Court of Florida, the Post noted, along with William Matthewman and Ryon McCabe.
On Monday, the Herald reported, two warrant applications were assigned to Reinhart. However, the warrants and information about the targets remain sealed. Another warrant was issued Friday by Reinhart, but its contents were also sealed, the paper said.
The New York Times reported the FBI agents were searching for 15 boxes of classified documents allegedly brought from the White House in January 2021 at the end of Trump’s presidency. That would be a violation of federal record-keeping laws. However, Trump had the authority to declassify documents, some analysts argue.