If Complaint Is Successful, Judge Who Approved Warrant for FBI Trump Raid Will Be Removed
Tea Party Patriots Action, a nonprofit conservative group, filed a federal complaint seeking to remove the Florida judge who had approved the FBI warrant used to raid the private Florida residence of former President Donald Trump.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart acted unethically in approving the suspiciously expansive search warrant due to his “history of hostility to President Trump,” according to the Aug. 16 complaint filed by Tea Party Patriots, which the group announced Wednesday.
.@JennyBethM: “Judge Reinhart acted unethically in approving the warrant to search President Trump’s residence…The entire episode…threatens the principle of ‘equal justice under law’ and the confidence of the American people in an unbiased judiciary.”https://t.co/CEHaML1YHu
— Tea Party Patriots (@TPPatriots) August 24, 2022
The group said Reinhart’s pattern of partisan bias disqualifies him as an impartial jurist, and therefore he should be removed from this case and from the bench.
The complaint pointed out that in June, Reinhart recused himself from a lawsuit Trump had filed against Hillary Clinton and other Democrats concerning the 2016 Russia collusion hoax.
Tea Party Patriots said the judge should have done the same in this instance but instead approved the unprecedented FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
“In June 2022, Judge Reinhart recused himself from a lawsuit involving President Trump in his suit against Hillary Clinton, citing a ‘conflict of interest,'” the complaint alleges.
“The case involves litigation by President Trump against Hillary Clinton related to the false accusations against the former President by Clinton and prominent Democrats in the Russia collusion hoax; yet, six weeks after that recusal, Judge Reinhart signed the warrant authorizing the FBI’s search of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.”
According to the complaint, Reinhart is incapable of adjudicating any matter involving Trump in a fair and impartial manner, and therefore should be disciplined and removed as a federal magistrate because of his ethical failures.
“Judge Reinhart has publicly denigrated President Donald Trump in social media posts,” the lawsuit alleges.
In 2016, the judge slammed then-President-elect Trump in a petty Facebook post, writing: “Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis’s feet.”
The lawsuit further alleges that Reinhart “is a Democrat who has given financial contributions to former Democratic President Barack Obama, and to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush when he was a candidate running against Donald Trump for President in 2015.”
He also has a history of ethical issues, “the most noteworthy being his resignation from the US Attorney’s office in Miami on January 1, 2008, and the very next day representing as counsel for employees of the late Jeffrey Epstein, who was under investigation by that same prosecutor’s office at the time of Reinhart’s employment and departure,” the complaint alleged.
The lawsuit continued: “An ethics complaint/lawsuit was filed against Judge Reinhart for his unethical conduct. Former colleagues at the US Attorney’s office stated their belief that Judge Reinhart was privy to confidential information regarding the prosecution’s case against Epstein.”
Tea Party Patriots argued that Reinhart “should be disciplined and removed as a federal magistrate because of his failure to meet the standards of ethical conduct and character necessary for the public to have confidence in the nonpartisan role of a judge in a matter of this extreme public interest.”
The group said it is necessary to excise biased, activist judges such as Reinhart because allowing a federal magistrate “who has been outspoken in his opposition to and loathing of President Trump threatens the principle of ‘equal justice under law’ and the confidence of the American people in an unbiased judiciary.”
TPPA Complaint by The Western Journal
Meanwhile, two constitutional attorneys who worked in the administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush said the FBI search warrant was invalid.
In their Monday Wall Street Journal commentary, David Rivkin Jr. and Lee Casey said the bureau “had no legally valid cause for the raid” because a former president’s rights under the Presidential Records Act supersede all of the laws the agency had cited in its warrant.
“The PRA explicitly guarantees a former president continuing access to his papers,” Rivkin and Casey wrote. “His possession of them is entirely consistent with that right, and therefore lawful, regardless of the statutes the FBI cites in its warrant.”
Was the FBI justified in searching Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago? The warrant itself suggests the answer is likely no, write @DavidRivkin and Lee A. Caseyhttps://t.co/ChBdKQFzaZ
— Wall Street Journal Opinion (@WSJopinion) August 23, 2022
In other words, the Presidential Records Act covers whatever documents Trump had at his Mar-a-Lago residence, so the warrant Reinhart approved for the FBI raid was invalid.
“Nothing in the PRA suggests that the former president’s physical custody of his records can be considered unlawful under the statutes on which the Mar-a-Lago warrant is based,” Rivkin and Casey wrote.
“Thus, if the Justice Department’s sole complaint is that Mr. Trump had in his possession presidential records he took with him from the White House, he should be in the clear, even if some of those records are classified.”
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