Trump search affidavit: Judge set to decide on unsealing

Politics

(NewsNation) — All eyes are on the magistrate judge who approved the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart will hear arguments Thursday as to whether more sensitive documents should be unsealed and released to the public.

In question is the affidavit that prosecutors used to secure the search warrant.

The Department of Justice on Monday objected to the release of the document that could contain additional information about the search.

The demand for more information about what led up to the search continues from both sides of the aisle.

There’s also a push to cool down anti-law enforcement rhetoric that sparked up since the FBI raid.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking at a political event in New Hampshire, said threats on the FBI must stop.

“I also want to remind my fellow Republicans, we can hold the attorney general accountable for the decision that he made without attacking rank and file law enforcement personnel at the FBI,” Pence said.

But the criticism has not just been on law enforcement.

Throughout this entire saga, there has been a lot of interest in the judge who will make the decision.

Judge Reinhart, who signed off on the search, has had death threats against him. His home address was posted online and even his synagogue had to cancel services because of the threats

“Is anyone ready for the vitriolic behavior of, not going to be kind, Hoopleheads that will blindly just attack, attack, attack without having any knowledge of the facts,” said prosecutor Al Johnson, who has known Reinhardt for years and worked with him on the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics.

“I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the man does his job,” Johnson said. “And there’s nothing more there. There’s no ‘there, there’ when it comes to the accusations that somehow that he had a political or personal motivation to do anything untoward.”

Reinhardt attended Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He spent 12 years as a federal prosecutor and was in private practice for 10 years.

He donated to former President Barack Obama’s campaign and also to Republican Jeb Bush when he ran for president.

Some had been critical of Reinhardt because he represented several employees of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2008.

Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade aired “in jest” a doctored photo that showed Judge Reinhart’s face on a photo of Jeffrey Epstein receiving a foot massage.

“I think that any issue regarding any past representation are completely red herrings and really takes away and detracts from his reputation, which is absolutely stellar,” said Michelle Suskauer, former Florida bar president.

It is not uncommon for a federal magistrate to sign off on search warrants. They’re on call at different times and it was just sort of random that Reinhardt was on call at the time that Trump’s search warrant came in.

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