The Department of Justice has been ordered to respond to motions to unseal the warrant used in the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
The magistrate judge who allegedly approved the unprecedented search, Bruce Reinhart, ordered the DOJ to file a response to motions to unseal from the Albany Times Union and conservative group Judicial Watch.
Reinhart said the DOJ’s response may be redacted ‘as necessary to avoid disclosing matters already under seal.’ The DOJ now has until Monday to respond.
Appointed to his current position in 2018, Reinhart, who is believed to have signed the sealed FBI warrant, recused himself in June from a lawsuit between Trump and Hillary Clinton because of ‘personal bias.’
Trump had sued Clinton, the Democratic National Committee and other political entities for promoting stories he had colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.
Eric said lawyer Christina Bobb was forced to wait at the end of a driveway during the search. Pictured: Armed Secret Service agents stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, late Monday, August 8 in Palm Beach, Florida
Secret service members stand guard outside former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home after Trump said that FBI agents raided it, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., August 8, 2022
Secret Service looks on as FBI removes a dozen boxes from the property
Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida club was raided while he was in New York City on Monday
The judge cited in his June 22 recusal a part of U.S. code requiring magistrate judges to disqualify themselves if they have ‘personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding.’
Reinhart did not specify if he had personal bias toward Trump, Clinton or any of the dozens of defendants in the lawsuit.
On Monday dozens of FBI agents descended on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of a probe into whether he took classified records with him upon leaving the White House.
While agents would typically provide Trump’s team with a copy of the warrant, his son Eric Trump claimed to DailyMail.com that agents would not hand over the document.
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, the former president’s son said the 30 agents who arrived at the property asked staff to turn security cameras off – but they refused.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10, 2022 in New York City
Two days after the raid, Trump spent some four hours pleading the Fifth as part of James’ civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances
The above timeline highlights just some of former President Donald Trump’s battles with the National Archives since leaving office, including an unrelated court fight with the January 6 committee
He also said that the attorney was forced to stand at the end of the Mar-a-Lago driveway while the team searched inside – and allegedly used safe crackers to break into his father’s safe.
Eric said that his father’s lawyer Christina Bobb was forced to stand at the end of the Mar-a-Lago driveway throughout the raid.
‘There’s 30 agents there,’ he recalled of the Monday search in a phone call with DailyMail.com. ‘They told our lawyer… you have to leave the property right now. Turn off all security cameras.’
‘They would not give her the search warrant,’ he claimed. ‘So they showed it to her from about 10 feet away. They would not give her a copy of the search warrant.’
The claim is at odds with what Bobb told the New York Times – that she received a copy of the warrant. Bobb said agents removed about a dozen boxes from the property.
Donald Trump lamented Wednesday that the FBI blocked his lawyers from the property during the raid at his Palm Beach, Florida residence and suggested that agents may have ‘planted’ evidence.
‘The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago,’ Trump posted to his Truth Social page on Wednesday morning.
‘Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting,” he continued while placing doubt that the raid was conducted properly.
Earlier this year the National Archives and Records Administration said it took 15 boxes of records out of Mar-a-Lago, roughly 12 months after Trump left office. Some of those files were apparently labeled ‘classified.’
The National Archives had asked the Justice Department to look into the ex-president’s potential mishandling of top secret documents, it was reported in May.
Four top DOJ officials traveled to Mar-a-Lago in early June to speak with the former president’s attorneys about the documents, it was reported by CNN the day after the FBI raid.
Trump claimed after the raid that his attorneys had been cooperating with FBI requests and installed an extra lock on the room where the documents were stored, as instructed.
‘In early June, the DOJ and FBI asked my legal representatives to put an extra lock on the door leading to the place where boxes were stored in Mar-a-Lago – We Agreed,’ the ex-president wrote.
They were shown the secured area, and the boxes themselves. Then on Monday, with no notification or warning, an army of agents broke into Mar-a-Lago, went to the same storage area, and ripped open the lock that they had asked to be installed.
He finished, ‘A surprise attack, POLITICS, and all the while out Country is going to HELL!’