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.
PHOENIX– Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has announced he will back Georgia’s effort to challenge a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit which challenges the state’s election reform law.
“As the Attorney General of Arizona, another state where the DOJ is attempting to intimidate local officials, please know that we stand with you in this fight and will do whatever we can to push back against this blatantly political and unmerited attack,” Brnovich wrote to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr in a letter dated June 25.
Referring to Georgia’s voting law as “common sense,” Brnovich said that, in filing its lawsuit, “the DOJ seems more concerned with appeasing far-leftist pundits and radical activists than upholding the rule of law.”
“All states have the authority, and a duty, to ensure public confidence in the integrity of our electoral process,” Brnovich wrote.
While supporters of the new law say that it’s a measure to enhance election integrity, opponents claim that the legislation is an effort to promote “voter suppression.”
Announcing the lawsuit on June 25, Attorney General Merrick Garland alleged that the law unfairly targets minority voters and is a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act.
“Our complaint alleges that recent changes to Georgia’s election laws were enacted with the purpose of denying or abridging the right of black Georgians to vote on account of their race or color,” Garland said. “Where we believe the civil rights of Americans have been violated, we will not hesitate to act.”
In a statement to the Epoch Times, Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill into law on March 25, said the DOJ lawsuit is an effort by Democrats to prevent a fair election.
“Now, they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy,” said Kemp.
“This blatantly political action taken by the United States Department of Justice is factually, legally, and constitutionally wrong,” Georgia attorney general Christopher Carr told Fox News June 28. “Anybody who will actually read the Georgia law sees it strengthens security, it expands access, and it improves transparency.”
The new law requires state issued photo identification to vote absentee by mail and mandates that secure drop boxes placed inside early voting locations require constant surveillance. Democrats claim the new measures make it more difficult to vote and disproportionately impacts minority voters.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Washington Free Beacon) — The chair of the House Intelligence Committee accused the FBI and Department of Justice of stonewalling a sprawling investigation into claims the Trump campaign colluded with Russia with the hope of running out the clock until the November elections, when they anticipate Democrats will regain control of the House and dissolve an ongoing probe that has uncovered evidence U.S. officials sought to cripple Trump’s campaign.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R., Calif.), in a wide-ranging audio interview with his House colleague Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.), accused top officials at the FBI and DOJ of “putting all their chips on the Republicans losing the House” so that their Democratic allies can “shut down” the longstanding Intelligence Committee probe, which has unearthed information disputing claims of collusion in recent months.
Rep. Duffy interviewed Rep. Nunes for an upcoming episode of Duffy’s podcast, “Plaidcast.”
Nunes also lashed out at the U.S. media, accusing “90 percent” of reporters covering the Russia probe of being “essentially an arm of the Democratic party,” according to an advance copy of the interview shared with the Washington Free Beacon.
Nunes has been running the Intelligence Committee’s investigation into claims the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to cement the 2016 election. The committee has unearthed a body of evidence indicating senior officials at the FBI and DOJ worked to take down Trump on behalf of Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.
“One-hundred percent, they [the FBI and DOJ] are putting all their chips on the Republicans losing the House and all these investigations will shut down,” Nunes told Duffy.
Nunes went on to blast the media for its lack of coverage about Republican findings indicating that senior U.S. officials loyal to the Democratic Party actively worked to open intelligence investigations into the Trump campaign based on a faulty and salacious anti-Trump dossier.
“The media has been horrible on this whole situation,” Nunes said.” What we’ve seen since the election of President Trump has been what’s been going on for a long time, but now you see what I call the 90-10 split.”
“You have 90 percent of the media who are essentially an arm of the Democratic Party,” he said. “Then you’ve got five percent of the media that I believe, for lack of a better term, are right or center right. They don’t necessarily follow the establishment of the Republican National Committee or something like that, but they definitely are conservative.”
“Then you only have five percent of the journalists that are out there that I would say are legitimate,” Nunes said. “That’s a problem in this country when you don’t have a free and fair media.”
The Intelligence Committee’s investigation has dragged on for months with little support from Democrats, who continue to push claims of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“The DOJ and FBI have actively obstructed a congressional investigation,” Nunes said, explaining that top officials continue to withhold documents that could disclose that both bodies intentionally worked to undermine the Trump campaign by opening secret investigations alleging Russia collusion.
“This is really serious stuff,” Nunes said, criticizing the FBI and DOJ for going to secret U.S. courts with evidence collected in the anti-Trump dossier, originally compiled by Fusion GPS. “They opened up a counter intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.”
Disclosure: The Washington Free Beacon was once a client of Fusion GPS. That relationship ended in January 2017. For more information, see here.
Nunes called the investigation into the Trump campaign unprecedented and an abuse of the American intelligence and security networks.
“After seven or eight months of stonewalling, we realized they [the FBI and DOB] had no intelligence in the opening of that investigation,” Nunes told Duffy.
In a different media environment, these revelations would have been front-page news, but have largely been ignored by the U.S. media, which Nunes views as working to oppose Trump at all costs.
“If the shoe was on the other foot, and this is what’s so bad and so corrupt about the media, and why I’m so worried about the future of our country, because without a free and fair and open media we have a major problem in this country,” Nunes said. “The media is what we count on to bring the transparency to government. There’s no possible way that if George W. Bush had done this to [former President Brack] Obama this town would have been on fire.”
“They would have had the FBI and DOJ surrounded by rioting in the street, everyone would have been fired, there would have been people put in jail, and what’s happening now is, you essentially have obstruction by the Department of Justice and the FBI colluding with the Democrats to ensure that these investigations do not properly take place,” he said.
Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon contributed to this report.
Washington, D.C. — Former Clinton pollster Mark Penn called out Robert Mueller on Monday, saying the special counsel’s investigation of President Donald Trump “must now be stopped”.
In an op-ed piece published by The Hill, Penn, who served as a pollster and adviser to former President Bill Clinton and as a chief political strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, called Mueller “impartial” and a “threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again”.
“The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming,” wrote Penn.
“At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done,” Penn continued.
“It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac. With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations,” Penn cautioned.
“But it is backfiring,” he added. “They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.”
“With Attorney General Jeff Sessions shoved out of the way,” Penn challenged, “Rosenstein and Mueller then ignored their own conflicts and took charge anyway. Rosenstein is a fact witness, and Mueller is a friend of Comey, disqualifying them both,” Penn wrote, adding that Sessions “needs to take back his Justice Department.”
The scathing article comes in the wake of President Trump’s call for the DOJ to look into whether they “infiltrated” his campaign to advance 2016 presidential election rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has since been tasked with looking into any possible “impropriety or political motivation” in the FBI’s Russia probe.
OAKLAND, CA — President Donald Trump stepped up his efforts Thursday to take down Oakland, California Mayor Libby Schaaf.
Schaaf, who last month warned thousands of illegal immigrants in her city of a pending ICE raid, has openly defied federal orders to comply with immigration officials.
“Oakland police officers are prohibited from participating in ICE activities,” Schaaf stated in a press release issued on February 24, adding that she wanted city residents “to prepare, not panic.”
Despite facing immense backlash, Schaff doubled down on her stance Tuesday, saying Oakland would “continue to inform all residents about their constitutional rights.”
In response, the president said Thursday its time to make an example of public officials who “harbor dangerous criminals” by standing in the way of arrests and deportations and called Schaaf’s actions “a disgrace”.
Federal officials were prepared to take nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants into custody last month, Trump said during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, but Schaaf’s heads-up allowed all but 150 to escape.
“Many of them, they say 85 percent of them, were criminals and had criminal records,’ the president said. “This was long in the planning, and she said, “Get out of here.” And she’s telling that to criminals. And it’s certainly something that we’re looking at, with respect to her individually.”
Trump also said the U.S. government may cut off funding to states who refuse to comply with federal immigration enforcement.
“I do think we should have legislation where we put an extra line in the money that we give them. You want the money? You can’t have the sanctuary cities,” said Trump. “That way we avoid the court battles all the time – which we probably will win, but who needs it?”
The president’s comments come just one day after Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed suit against the state of California over its sanctuary city policies.
In announcing the Justice Department’s lawsuit against California on Wednesday, Sessions also targeted Schaaf.
“Her actions support those who flout the law and boldly validate illegality,” Sessions said of the Oakland mayor. “There’s no other way to interpret those remarks.”
“Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf,” Sessions continued. “How dare you? How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement officers to promote your radical open borders agenda?”
“Immigration law is the province of the federal government. It’s in the Constitution,” Sessions told the California Peace Officers Association.
“I don’t want to be in this position of having to challenge these laws,” he added. “It wasn’t something I chose to do, but I can’t sit by idly while the lawful authorities of federal officers are being blocked by legislative actions and politicians.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for using an “Obama guy” to investigate alleged FISA abuses.
The president’s rage was triggered by Tuesday’s announcement that the Justice Department’s inspector general has been tapped to investigate the allegations, despite the release of memos which reveal FISA warrants to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser that were unlawfully obtained by the DOJ and FBI.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse,” Trump tweeted (https://tinyurl.com/ya22pl2p). “Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
Sessions confirmed Tuesday, in response to a question from Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, that the accusations of wrongdoing would be investigated at the IG level.
“The inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with,” he said referring to DOJ IG Michael Horowitz.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Sessions defended himself and his department.
“We have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary,” the statement reads. “As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.”
This isn’t the first time the president has publicly criticized Sessions or his team.
He first lashed out a Sessions last year, when the attorney general recused himself from any role in the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
In an interview with Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” earlier this month (https://tinyurl.com/yb7k7s3b), Sessions announced there would be an investigation into how the FBI used the dossier to secure the surveillance.
“That will be investigated and looked at, and we are not going to participate at the Department of Justice in providing anything less than the proper disclosure to the court before they issue a FISA warrant.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Members of the House late Thursday called for the declassification and release of a “shocking” classified memo that reportedly details abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by senior Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigations officials relating to their investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump (https://saraacarter.com/2018/01/18/a-bombshell-house-intelligence-report-exposing-extensive-fisa-abuse-could-lead-to-the-removal-of-senior-government-officials/).
Appearing on Fox News’ “Hannity” Thursday night, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz said “there are people who will go to jail.”
“I think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail,” Gaetz told host Sean Hannity (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/01/19/rep_gaetz_people_will_go_to_jail_over_nunes_memo_democrats_afraid_to_release_info.html). “I was very persuaded by the evidence, and it also became clear to me why Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham felt it so important to refer this matter for criminal prosecution.”
“The facts contained in this memo are jaw-dropping and demand full transparency. There is no higher priority than the release of this information to preserve our democracy,” continued Gaetz (R-FL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DOJ and the FBI.
At the center of the issue, say Republicans, are admissions of unlawful spying and the “unmasking” of key Trump associates.
“It’s troubling. It is shocking,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said in agreement to Gaetz’s comments. “Part of me wishes that I didn’t read it because I don’t want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country that I call home and love so much.”
Yet another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), took to Twitter to say what he saw in the memo he found “sickening,” calling it “worse than Watergate.”
“I have read the memo. The sickening reality has set in. I no longer hold out hope there is an innocent explanation for the information the public has seen,” wrote King (https://twitter.com/SteveKingIA/status/954194729511636992). ” I have long said it is worse than Watergate. It was #neverTrump & #alwaysHillary. #releasethememo”.
The revelation caused a near immediate uproar on social media, leading to demands for the memo’s release.
The pressure to do so apparently worked, as the House Intelligence Committee shortly thereafter approved, by a party-line vote, to make the four-page memo available to all members of the lower chamber.
Members were not permitted to take copies of the memo for their own review and were restricted to viewing the document in a special room inside the Capital building.
Democrats were quick to fight back against the memo’s release, calling the document “misleading”.
“[T]he Majority voted today on a party-line basis to grant House Members access to a profoundly misleading set of talking points drafted by Republican staff attacking the FBI and its handling of the investigation,” House Intelligence Committee leader Adam Schiff, (D)-Calif., said in a statement. “Rife with factual inaccuracies and referencing highly classified materials that most of Republican Intelligence Committee members were forced to acknowledge they had never read, this is meant only to give Republican House members a distorted view of the FBI.”
“This may help carry White House water, but it is a deep disservice to our law enforcement professionals,” Schiff added.
Republicans lawmakers, however, say there is no way they are going to allow Democrats to sweep this under the rug.
“What are the Democrats so afraid of,” Goetz countered. “Why don’t they want the American people to know the truth about what was going on with the government, how that impacted the president, his transition, his campaign? And it just seems interesting to me that Democrats don’t want us to know what the entire basis was in the first place for the Mueller probe. They want to drag this out through the midterm elections to try to embarrass this president and distract this Congress from the critical work we have to do to save this great country.”
Meanwhile, Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy website responsible for the leaking of hacked DNC emails during the 2016 election, has offered a $1 million reward to anyone who can provide them with a verified copy.