A federal magistrate judge has ordered the Department of Justice to respond to public pressure to unseal the warrant that led to the unprecedented raid of former President Trump’s Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.
Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered the DOJ Wednesday to “file a Response to the Motion to Unseal” the warrant after both the Times Union, an Albany, New York, news outlet, and Judicial Watch, a conservative legal action group, made official requests about the warrant. Reinhart gave the DOJ until August 15 to respond to the requests.
According to Trump attorney Christina Bobb, Reinhart was the judge who signed off on the warrant application for the FBI raid. Prior to Reinhart’s time as a judge, he worked as a defense attorney and at one time worked on behalf of individuals connected to high-profile sex offender and human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Reinhart also donated to the campaign of former President Barack Obama in a sum totalling $2,000 and donated to one of Trump’s 2016 rivals Jeb Bush.
The FBI sent approximately two dozen agents and technicians to Trump’s Florida resort on Monday morning to carry out the search warrant. The warrant was reportedly tied to classified documents that the former president took with him from the White House in January 2021. In January of this year, Trump returned 15 boxes of documents and materials that he had taken from the White House.
The FBI agents sent to the home reportedly collected 10 boxes of material, much of which was unrelated or only marginally related to the reported source of the warrant. A source told Fox News that “[The agents] were not being judicious about what they took.”
“’These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,’ Trump said in a statement Monday confirming the raid. ‘The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years, with the now fully debunked Russia, Russia, Russia Scam, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, and so much more, it just never ends. It is political targeting at the highest level!’”
Many have called for the DOJ and FBI to explain the raid against Trump, arguing that the politicization of the Justice Department and the FBI’s damaged reputation among Americans warranted an explanation. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the leading Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Christopher Wray to answer questions about the raid quickly and in depth.
“If the FBI isn’t extraordinarily transparent about its justification for yesterday’s actions and committed to rooting out political bias that has infected their most sensitive investigations, they will have sealed their own fate. The FBI’s mission and the many patriotic agents who work hard to carry it out will be forever overshadowed by the distrust the bureau has sown,” the Iowa senator said in a statement.