Alarm Bells: Judge Who OK'd Trump Raid Recused Himself in Trump-Clinton Lawsuit

AP Photo/Terry Renna

We previously reported how Judge Bruce Reinhart — the man who signed off on the search warrant to raid Mar-a-Lago — had previously worked for Jeffrey Epstein’s employees. He helped them secure immunity deals from the government after he left the U.S. Attorney’s office where they had been prosecuting Epstein.


But it gets more concerning than that. Turns out the judge had recused himself from the Trump-Clinton lawsuit on June 22, citing a statute as to impartiality.

“The undersigned Magistrate Judge, to whom the above-styled cause has been assigned, hereby recuses himself and refers the case to the Clerk of Court for reassignment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 455,” Reinhart wrote in his order of recusal in the Trump v. Clinton case. [….]

The statute that the magistrate cited for his recusal states in part that a judge “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned” and then describes the various circumstances that could trigger such concerns.

They include “a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts” or prior work as a lawyer for a party involved in the case.

The judge doesn’t further specify his reason for recusal in the order.

That naturally raises questions then about his signing of the search warrant for the raid on Trump’s home. What was his personal bias or knowledge? Or did he work for the Clinton team in any way? If he was recusing himself from the Trump-Clinton matter, is there a continuing issue that would be problematic in signing off on the Trump warrant?

But that wasn’t all. Reinhart also had at least one Facebook post that bashed Trump, citing Clinton official Robert Reich.


I generally ignore the President-elect’s tweets, but not this one. John Lewis arguably has done more to “make America great” than any living citizen. Last August, I took my son to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma so he could understand the kind of courage and sacrifice required to live in a democratic society. John Lewis embodies that spirit. Although I’ve never met him, he is one of my heroes.

Thank you, Robert Reich, for saying what many of us feel, “John Lewis is the conscience of America. Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis’s feet.”

Or, as Joseph Welch said to Joseph McCarthy, “At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Not exactly an objective-sounding guy.

Just to add to the questions about objectivity, Reinhart also donated $1,000 to Barack Obama in 2008 and $500 to Jeb Bush in 2015.

All that adds up to a big question when it comes to his judicial action regarding Trump.


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