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Bruce Reinhart, a federal magistrate judge, signed the warrant for the FBI’s Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Reinhart never represented financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Reinhart represented some of Epstein’s employees, including his scheduler, who were accused of abetting Epstein’s alleged sex crimes against underage girls.
A Facebook post focuses on two news stories that have been sources of misinformation on social media: financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate.
"Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer became a federal judge" and "was the person to sign off on the Mar-a-Lago search warrant," says a Sept. 17 Facebook post.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)
Although the judge who signed the Mar-a-Lago search warrant represented people in Epstein’s orbit, he never represented Epstein himself, according to court filings and the judge’s own words, as reported by the Miami Herald in 2019.
Epstein died by suicide in August 2019 in jail as he awaited trial on charges of sex trafficking.
Bruce Reinhart, a federal magistrate judge since 2018, signed a warrant that allowed the FBI to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8, in connection with an investigation into presidential records. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Reinhart previously was a criminal defense lawyer. His clients included some of Epstein’s employees, including his scheduler, who were accused of abetting Epstein’s alleged crimes against underage girls. Reinhart shared an office address with Epstein’s lead attorney, Jack Goldberger, according to a July 2019 Miami Herald article.
Before Reinhart became a defense lawyer, he worked as a federal prosecutor in the office that initially investigated Epstein and granted him a nonprosecution deal in 2008 that allowed him to plead guilty to state charges. Reinhart said he was not part of the Epstein investigation, though the Miami Herald reported that his bosses in the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a document in court that said he had learned confidential, non-public information about the case.
Reinhart’s clients who were Epstein’s employees also received federal immunity, according to the Miami Herald. Reinhart declined to tell the Herald whether he had received payment from Epstein for representing Epstein’s employees.
Since approving the Mar-a-Lago warrant, Reinhart has been the target of misinformation and anti-Semitic attacks. Fact-checkers said an altered photo showing Reinhart with Epstein confidante and convicted sex trafficker Ghislane Maxwell was false.
A Facebook post says, "Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer became a federal judge" and "was the person to sign off on the Mar-a-Lago search warrant."
The judge, Reinhart, did not represent Epstein. He represented people who worked for Epstein and who were accused of abetting Epstein’s crimes.
We rate this claim False.
Facebook post, Sept. 17, 2022.
Miami Herald, "Deflecting blame, Acosta pointed finger at others. Why they might have some explaining to do," July 13, 2019.
Politico, "Judge who approved FBI’s Mar-a-Lago search represented clients linked to Jeffrey Epstein," Aug. 9, 2022.
BBC "Who was Jeffrey Epstein? The financier charged with sex trafficking," Dec. 29, 2021.
CBS News, "Bruce Reinhart unsealed: The magistrate judge at the center of the Justice Dept's inquiry into Trump's handling of classified records," Aug. 18, 2022.
The New York Times, "Bruce Reinhart, the magistrate judge who approved the Mar-a-Lago search," Aug. 18, 2022.
The Associated Press, "Justice Dept.: ‘Poor judgment’ used in Epstein plea deal," Nov. 12, 2020.
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