The judge who approved the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago research represented clients linked to Jeffrey Epstein
Reinhart’s decision to grant the FBI’s warrant request to search Trump’s compound has sparked a firestorm among Republicans, who have denounced what they call the “militarization” of the Justice Department.
But a local prosecutor described Reinhart — who has served as a magistrate since 2018 — as “well-respected” within the Palm Beach County legal community. Reinhart is married to Circuit Judge Carolyn Bell, a former federal prosecutor who was appointed to the bench by the then governor. Rick Scott, a Republican turned senator.
“He’s a former prosecutor and defense attorney and he’s also known to be meticulous,” said Palm Beach County Attorney Dave Aronberg, a Democrat who elected the state’s attorney but who also worked for Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi.
“He’s not going to make a quick judgement,” Aronberg added.
Reinhart could not be reached for comment.
Magistrates are not appointed by the president but by district judges. Their duties may include handling bond hearings, handling technical issues in civil cases, and signing whether or not to authorize a search warrant.
Reinhart, who earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and also graduated from Princeton, worked for the Treasury Department, the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and spent more than 11 years as an assistant attorney in the United States. During that time, he handled more than 100 grand jury investigations, including cases of health care fraud, public corruption and tax evasion, according to a biography of Reinhart released by the law firm. private sector where he worked for about six years.
He worked as a federal prosecutor until January 1, 2008, when a day later he became a defense attorney representing Epstein employees, according to a 2018 article by the Miami Herald. According to the Herald, the employees included pilots for Epstein, his planner and a woman who had been described by some of Epstein’s victims as his sex slave. Epstein killed himself in a federal prison in Manhattan in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The Herald also reported that in 2011, Reinhart was named in a lawsuit where he was accused of violating Justice Department policies by representing employees. Reinhart denied the allegations and said he was not involved in Epstein’s criminal case and did not learn any confidential information while working as a prosecutor.
Law 360 reported in June, Reinhart accepted a request from Google for the tech giant to receive attorneys’ fees after the tech company won a lawsuit alleging Google had blacklisted a website because the site was owned by curators.
Reinhart did not rule on the underlying lawsuit, but instead ruled on a dispute over legal fees. Law 360 reported that Reinhart reduced the amount of the fee Google was seeking from over $200,000 to just over $145,000.
Federal campaign finance records show that in 2008, Reinhart donated $1,000 to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and $1,000 to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee. He had also donated $500 to former Florida Republican Governor Jeb Bush in 2016 when he was running for president.
State records show that over several election cycles, Reinhart donated $4,550 to a handful of candidates, including Aronberg, as well as candidates for judge, prosecutor, public defender and to a Democrat who ran for the Florida House.