By Zachary Stieber
The newly released affidavit that prompted a judge to approve a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s home in Florida shows the warrant should not have been approved, Trump said on Aug. 26.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed off on the warrant, “should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home,” Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform.
Reinhart said during a recent hearing that he relied on the information in the affidavit, and nothing else, when he decided to approve the warrant application.
The warrant was approved on Aug. 5 and executed at Mar-a-Lago three days later.
Agents asked for the warrant months after they reviewed files transferred from Trump’s residence to the U.S. archivist, according to the affidavit. That review, which took place in May, identified classified materials, including some that appeared to include national defense information.
Trump may have violated three different laws, including one governing the handling of such materials, the agent who authored the affidavit said. That agent’s name was withheld, as were entire paragraphs of other information.
Reinhart approved all the redactions the government proposed.
The FBI, which is part of the Department of Justice, confirmed in the document that it was in talks with Trump lawyers between May and the raid, including a letter from a government lawyer that asked Trump to secure a room in which other documents were being stored.
“Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH,” Trump wrote on Friday.
Some anonymously sourced reports claimed that documents relating to nuclear weapons were seized from Mar-a-Lago. Those remain unconfirmed.
Fresh Call for Recusal
Reinhart, appointed to this position by other judges, recused himself from an ongoing case brought against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others by Trump.
The reason for the recusal was not given, but Trump said Reinhart should have recused himself from the warrant issue as well.
“He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me. What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case?” Trump said.
Reinhart posted an anti-Trump missive on Facebook while he was a private lawyer. Reinhart was a U.S. prosecutor before becoming a lawyer. He joined the judiciary in 2018.
Trump has asked the court to appoint an independent party to separate privileged materials from the items the FBI seized in the raid. That case is being handled by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee.
A group called Tea Party Patriots Action, meanwhile, has asked for Reinhart to be removed from overseeing the warrant matter, in part because of his Facebook post.