REPORT: Judge who approved FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago once linked to Jeffrey Epstein

WASHINGTON (New York Post) — The Florida federal magistrate judge who signed off on a search warrant authorizing the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort left the local US Attorney’s office more than a decade ago to rep employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had received immunity in the long-running sex-trafficking investigation of the financier.

Sources tell The Post that Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that enabled federal agents to converge on the palatial South Florida estate on Monday in what Trump called an “unannounced raid on my home.”

Reinhart was elevated to magistrate judge in March 2018 after 10 years in private practice. That November, the Miami Herald reported that he had represented several of Epstein’s employees — including, by Reinhart’s own admission to the outlet, Epstein’s pilots; his scheduler, Sarah Kellen; and Nadia Marcinkova, who Epstein once reportedly described as his “Yugoslavian sex slave.”

Kellen and Marcinkova were among Epstein’s lieutenants who were granted immunity as part of a controversial 2007 deal with federal prosecutors that allowed the pervert to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes. Epstein wound up serving just 13 months in county jail and was granted work release.

According to the outlet, Reinhart resigned from the South Florida US Attorney’s Office effective on New Year’s Day 2008 and went to work for Epstein’s cohorts the following day. Epstein, who was found dead in August 2019 of an apparent suicide in the Manhattan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges, had hired a stable of high-powered lawyers, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

Reinhart was later named in a civil lawsuit that accused him of violating Justice Department policies by switching sides in the middle of the Epstein investigation, suggesting he had used inside information about the probe to build favor with the notorious defendant, the Herald reported in 2018.

In a 2011 affidavit, Reinhart denied he had done anything improper and insisted that since he was not involved in the federal investigation of Epstein, he was not privy to inside information about the case.

However, in a 2013 court filing, Reinhart’s former colleagues contradicted him, saying that he had “learned confidential, non-public information about the Epstein matter.” Reinhart noted to the Herald in response that a complaint filed against him by a lawyer for Epstein’s victims had been dismissed by the Justice Department.

In his 12 years as a federal prosecutor, according to his official biography, Reinhart “managed a docket that covered the full spectrum of federal crimes, including narcotics, violent crimes, public corruption, financial frauds, child pornography and immigration.”

Reinhart is one of three federal magistrate judges in the West Palm Beach offices of the US District Court for the Southern District Court of Florida, along with William Matthewman and Ryon McCabe.

Two recent warrant applications were assigned to Reinhart and entered into the court system on Monday, the Miami Herald reported, but those warrants and information about who they targeted remain sealed. Records show another warrant was issued by Reinhart on Friday, but its contents were also sealed.

Trump confirmed media reports of a raid at his Florida resort on Monday evening, saying Mar-a-Lago was “under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

The agents were reportedly searching the seaside property for boxes of classified documents Trump allegedly brought to the ritzy resort after he left the White House in January 2021, which would be a violation of federal record-keeping laws.

The National Archives and Records Administration said in February that it found classified documents in 15 boxes at Mar-a-Lago and alerted the FBI.

The removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations is banned under federal law, although Trump had wide powers when he was president to declassify documents.

The raid on Mar-a-Lago comes amid the House select committee’s continuing investigation into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol as Congress met to certify the 2020 presidential election results.

A federal grand jury is also investigating the riot and Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.


The New York Post’s Miranda Devine, Mark Moore and Samuel Chamberlain contributed to the contents of this report.

Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Parents $4 Million in Compensatory Damages

AUSTIN (AP)— A Texas jury on Thursday ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a 6-year-old boy who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, marking the first time the Infowars host has been held financially liable for repeatedly claiming the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history was a hoax.

The Austin jury must still decide how much the Infowars host must pay in punitive damages to Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 children and six educators who were killed in the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.

The parents had sought at least $150 million in compensation for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Jones’ attorney asked the jury to limit damages to $8 — one dollar for each of the compensation charges they are considering — and Jones himself said any award over $2 million “would sink us.”

It likely won’t be the last judgment against Jones — who was not in the courtroom — over his claims that the attack was staged in the interests of increasing gun controls. A Connecticut judge has ruled against him in a similar lawsuit brought by other victims’ families and an FBI agent who worked on the case.

Outside the courthouse Thursday, the plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston insisted that the $4.11 million amount wasn’t a disappointment, noting it was only part of the damages Jones will have to pay.

The jury returns Friday to hear more evidence about Jones and his company’s finances.

“We aren’t done folks,” Bankston said. “We knew coming into this case it was necessary to shoot for the moon to get to understand we were serious and passionate. After tomorrow, he’s going to owe a lot more.”

The total amount awarded in this case could set a marker for the other lawsuits against Jones and underlines the financial threat he’s facing. It also raises new questions about the ability of Infowars — which has been banned from YouTube, Spotify and Twitter for hate speech — to continue operating, although the company’s finances remain unclear.

Jones, who has portrayed the lawsuit as an attack on his First Amendment rights, conceded during the trial that the attack was “100% real” and that he was wrong to have lied about it. But Heslin and Lewis told jurors that an apology wouldn’t suffice and called on them to make Jones pay for the years of suffering he has put them and other Sandy Hook families through.

The parents testified Tuesday about how they’ve endured a decade of trauma, inflicted first by the murder of their son and what followed: gun shots fired at a home, online and phone threats, and harassment on the street by strangers. They said the threats and harassment were all fueled by Jones and his conspiracy theory spread to his followers via his website Infowars.

A forensic psychiatrist testified that the parents suffer from “complex post-traumatic stress disorder” inflicted by ongoing trauma, similar to what might be experienced by a soldier at war or a child abuse victim.

At one point in her testimony, Lewis looked directly at Jones, who was sitting barely 10 feet away.

“It seems so incredible to me that we have to do this — that we have to implore you, to punish you — to get you to stop lying,” Lewis told Jones.

Jones was the only witness to testify in his defense. And he came under withering attack from the plaintiffs attorneys under cross-examination, as they reviewed Jones’ own video claims about Sandy Hook over the years, and accused him of lying and trying to hide evidence, including text messages and emails about the attack. It also included internal emails sent by an Infowars employee that said “this Sandy Hook stuff is killing us.”

At one point, Jones was told that his attorneys had mistakenly sent Bankston the last two years’ worth of texts from Jones’ cellphone. Bankston said in court Thursday that the U.S. House Jan. 6 committee investigating the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol has requested the records and that he intends to comply.

And shortly after Jones declared “I don’t use email,” Jones was shown one that came from his address, and another one from an Infowars business officer telling Jones that the company had earned $800,000 gross in selling its products in a single day, which would amount to nearly $300 million in a year.

Jones’ media company Free Speech Systems, which is Infowars’ parent company, filed for bankruptcy during the two-week trial.


The Associated Press’s Jim Vertuno contributed to the contents of this report.

‘PLAYING WITH FIRE’: Pelosi to Visit Taiwan Despite Fresh Warnings from China

WASHINGTON— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s tour of Asia will include a visit to Taiwan, senior Taiwanese government and US officials confirmed on Monday.

The planned visit comes despite fresh warnings by the Chinese government that Pelosi’s stop will be seen as an act of aggression on the part of the United States.

“We would like to tell the US once again that China is standing by, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by. China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a foreign ministry briefing Monday.

“As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.

National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said Monday that the Biden administration will take all necessary precautions to ensure Pelosi’s safety.

“We want to make sure that when she travels overseas, she can do so safely and securely and we’re going to make sure of that. There is no reason for the Chinese rhetoric. There is no reason for any actions to be taken. It is not uncommon for congressional leaders to travel to Taiwan,” Kirby told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day.”

“We shouldn’t be as a country – we shouldn’t be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we’re going to do whatever we can to support her.” 

Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned against “playing with fire” over Taiwan in a call with Joe Biden last Thursday, highlighting Beijing’s concerns about the possible visit.

“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Biden in their fifth call as leaders. “It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this.”

Xi warned the Biden administration should abide by the “one-China principle” and stressed that China firmly opposes Taiwanese independence and outside interference.

REPORT: Trump to Lose RNC Funding if He Announces 2024 Run

WASHINGTON (Fox News)— The Republican National Convention would stop paying for former President Donald Trump’s legal expenses if he announces he’s running for president in 2024, according to a Thursday report.

The RNC is currently bankrolling several legal cases for Trump, including personal lawsuits and government investigations into him. That flow of cash would end once he announces his candidacy for president in 2024, according to ABC News. Some see the move as an incentive for Trump to delay announcing his candidacy at least until after the 2022 midterm elections, which Republicans are already poised to win.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has previously stated that the Republican Party cannot be biased in favor of any one candidate in the party’s presidential primary.

Top-level members of the Republican Party have encouraged Trump to delay announcing his candidacy until after the midterms. Many read that as Republicans fearing that a Trump announcement upsetting the status quo of voters focused on inflation, gas prices and President Joe Biden’s low approval rating.

“My point to him has always been, ‘Let’s go win ’22,'” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday of his conversations with Trump, adding that he encouraged Trump to hold off on an announcement.

Trump stated earlier in July that he as already made up his mind on whether to run, and that the main decision is now whether he will announce before or after the midterms.

The RNC has already paid nearly $2 million in legal fees for the former president.

BIDEN ECONOMY: Middle Class Turning to Food Banks as Inflation Spirals Out of Control

WASHINGTON– Heads of food banks and non-profits throughout the United States say they are struggling to keep up with demand as the cost of groceries, fuel prices and other goods are leading first time recipients, many identified as middle class, to turn to these resources for help.

“Lines are getting longer at food pantries. Demand for food assistance is growing. And that is certainly putting a strain on the emergency food system,” Kyle Waide, president and CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

A report published last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that with inflation rates at a 40-year high, middle and working class Americans are struggling to survive.

Matt Pieper, the executive director of the food nonprofit Open Hand Atlanta, and Board president of Georgia Meals on Wheels State Association told the Constitution that the number of calls he gets in a day from people who are seeking food assistance has nearly tripled.

“There isn’t a program that I’ve talked with throughout the state that isn’t seeing an increase in demand for services, as inflation has skyrocketed and as the cost of fuel has skyrocketed,” said Pieper, whose organization provides about 5,500 meals a day.

“We’re feeding more seniors than we ever have before, because more seniors are accessing services because they’re running out of money,” he said.

According to the report published by the BLS, more than 18 million Americans sometimes didn’t have enough to eat last month and more than 5 million people often went hungry.

In May, food prices were 11.9% higher than in May of 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture

The government’s consumer price index soared 9.1% over the past year, the biggest yearly increase since 1981, with nearly half of the increase due to higher energy costs.

REPORT: Fauci to Retire by End of Biden’s Term

WASHINGTON (Newsmax)– Dr Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who is the chief medical adviser to U.S. President Joe Biden, will retire by the end of Biden’s term, he told Politico in an interview published Monday.

Fauci, 81, has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and became the face of the U.S. government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fauci served on the White House coronavirus task force under former President Donald Trump.

NIAID did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Republicans in Congress are threatening to investigate Fauci and 10 other virologists on their stance on the origins of COVID-19 if the GOP regains control in the upcoming midterm elections.

READ THE DOCS: Reps Jordan, Comer, Davis & Bud Warns Biden Weaponizing Voting Process for Political Gain

SOURCE: https://twitter.com/JudiciaryGOP/status/1547975488907268097