But unlike the warrant case, Reinhart recused himself in the earlier lawsuit, acknowledging that his partisan, anti-Trump fanaticism made it impossible for him to render an impartial verdict, South Florida’s Sun–Sentinel reported.
In the case of Trump v. Clinton, Trump sued Hillary Clinton on March 24, 2022. He also sued the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, LLC, Michael Sussmann, Marc Elias, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Charles Halliday Dolan, Jr., Jake Sullivan, John Podesta, Fusion GPS, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Christopher Steele, Igor Danchenko, James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe and many others.
The lawsuit alleges that Clinton “and her cohorts … maliciously conspired to weave a false narrative that their Republican opponent [Trump] was colluding with a hostile foreign sovereignty.”
The scheme included “falsifying evidence, deceiving law enforcement, and exploiting access to highly sensitive data sources,” and was “conceived, coordinated and carried out by top-level officials at the Clinton Campaign and the DNC.”
Reinhart was assigned to the case on April 6, 2022, after the previous magistrate judge, Ryon McCabe, was recused.
On April 15, Reinhart conducted a scheduling conference in the case, according to court documents obtained by The Center Square. He oversaw scheduling of a June 2 status conference on May 4 and 31 and oversaw the actual conference.
Reinhart also signed another order on June 14, setting another status conference for July 6, but by June 22 Reinhart cancelled the conference and recused himself.
The statute cited by the judge in his recusal states that a judge “shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned” for reasons including “a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts” as well as prior work for a party involved, Just the News Reported.
Less than two months later, on Monday, Aug. 9, he signed a warrant for the FBI to raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate over an alleged dispute over White House documents.
The search warrant remains under seal and Trump’s attorney has told news outlets that they don’t know what the probable cause was to justify issuing the warrant, also maintaining Trump’s innocence and that he didn’t commit a crime. Many officials have called for the warrant to be unsealed, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
A lawsuit by the transparency watchdog Judicial Watch requires that the judge respond by no later than 5 p.m. Monday, Just the News reported.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, has called for a congressional investigation into the raid, also saying the FBI’s tactics were like those of a third-world dictatorship.
“[T]he Justice Department under Joe Biden decided to raid … the home of the former president who might … be running against him,” Rubio said.
“… This is what happens in places like Nicaragua where last year every single person who ran against Daniel Ortega for president, every single person that put their name on the ballot, was arrested and is still in jail,” he continued. “That’s what you see in places like Nicaragua. We’ve never seen that before in America. You can try and diminish it, but that’s exactly what happened.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the raid was a “weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents.”
The White House has declined to comment on the raid, saying it was not made aware of it before it took place.
The document dispute stems from a disagreement over which documents in Trump’s possession are presidential records or not. Under the Presidential Records Act, some records in question should have been transferred to the National Archives in January 2021 when Trump left office, the institution said in a statement at the time.
Trump had previously cooperated with authorities serving what reportedly was a grand-jury subpoena over the purloined memorabilia.
Instead, Reinhart authorized the FBI to execute the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, which Trump said was “prosecutorial misconduct.”
Reinhart’s motives have come under question as several concerning connections from the judge’s past resurface.
His ties to Epstein’s employees was first reported on by the Miami Herald, with whom he confirmed that clients were Epstein’s pilots, his scheduler, Sarah Kellen, and a woman Nadia Marcinkova.
Reinhart also donated to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, according to the Post.
Prior to becoming a magistrate judge in 2018, he spent 10 years in private practice, according to Bloomberg News. He previously worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
According to Law.com, the Palm Beach Federal Court removed Reinhart’s contact information from the court’s website Tuesday.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.