The federal judge who purportedly approved the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago once represented employees of Jeffrey Epstein — after working in the U.S. attorney's office that prosecuted Epstein.
What are the details?
The New York Post reported that federal magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that allowed FBI agents to raid Trump's south Florida resort.
The court's online database shows Reinhart approved a warrant application recently, but the exact details of the warrant remain under government seal.
Reinhart has served as a federal judge since March 2018, according to his online bio. Before taking the bench, Reinhart worked in private practice for 10 years after serving as an assistant U.S. attorney in South Florida from 1996 to 2008.
According to the Miami Herald, Reinhart abruptly left the U.S. attorney's office on Jan. 1, 2008. By the next day, he was representing key Epstein employees.
Importantly, Reinhart worked in the same U.S. attorney's office that was at the time prosecuting Epstein for sexual crimes against children. That office cut Epstein a sweetheart deal that allowed him to plead guilty to lesser state charges, and he essentially avoided serving any time in jail.
For his part, Reinhart denied that he ever represented Epstein himself. But he admitted to representing Epstein's employees, including his pilots, "his scheduler, Sarah Kellen; and Nadia Marcinkova, described by some victims as Epstein’s sex slave," the Herald reported in 2018.
More from the Herald's story:
In 2011, Reinhart was named in the Crime Victims’ Rights Act lawsuit, which accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides, implying that he leveraged inside information about Epstein’s investigation to curry favor with Epstein. Reinhart, in a sworn declaration attached to the CVRA case, denied the allegation, saying he did not participate in Epstein’s criminal case and “never learned any confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter.’’
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has since disputed that, saying in court papers that he did possess confidential information about the case.
While the exact purpose of the raid remains unclear, law enforcement sources have said the FBI was looking for classified documents that Trump allegedly removed from the White House.
Meanwhile, constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz has described the raid as "unconstitutional" and "absolutely outrageous," suggesting the matter should have been settled by lawyers and a judge.