I saw references to Bruce Reinhart last night, and the fact that he had previously defended Jeffrey Epstein (who didn’t kill himself). Commenter ML has also drawn attention to the matter. Technically, that’s not legally relevant-everyone is entitled to legal representation. The ethics of a defense lawyer should be judged by the quality of his representation, rather than the identity of his client. However … “Emerging details” paint a disturbing picture. I had originally assumed that Reinhart is a District Court judge. But he’s not. That’s a problem in a case like this. Here are two tweets that I got via Red State that paint a fuller picture: Twitter@RonColeman US Magistrate Judges are not Article III judges. Not appointed by the POTUS. Not confirmed by the Senate. They sign virtually all federal warrants. How does a USMJ not kick an application for a search warrant on a former POTUS upstairs to a real judge?
My take is simply this. I would have expected DoJ to take their application to a “real judge” just to give a greater appearance of legitimacy to the whole proceeding-to give the impression of going the extra mile to be fair. They didn’t bother, and that’s “troubling.” Moreover, Reinhart himself could have sought guidance from higher ups. I know from personal experience that this can and does happen-or that higher ups do sometimes intervene
Here’s Bonchie’s further comment: The warrant was rubber-stamped by Magistrate Judge named Bruce Reinhardt. As Ron Coleman points out, that’s highly suspect given the profile of the situation. Why did a low-level, unconfirmed, unappointed magistrate judge sign off on the most consequential FBI warrant in decades? If any warrant application demanded the eyes of a real judge, it would be one targeting the former President of the United States. Yet, this judge was happy to give the FBI what they wanted while the FBI was happy to accept. Let’s be real about this. I’m not defending the FBI, but warrant applications are not argued by the FBI. It’s DoJ through the local US Attorney’s office.
That seems almost inconsequential, though, compared to what else we now know about Reinhardt. Astonishingly, he quit his job as a prosecutor to go work for infamous sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s associates, and he helped secure immunity deals for many of the low-life enablers who surrounded Epstein.
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