Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart Accepts DOJ’s Proposed Redactions

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart just accepted DOJ’s proposed redactions in the Donald Trump affidavit and ordered them to post it by noon ET tomorrow.

According to his order, DOJ will redact:

(1) the identities of witnesses, law enforcement agents, and uncharged parties,

(2) the investigation’s strategy, direction, scope, sources, and methods,

(3) grand jury information protected by Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e).

This likely means even Trump’s name will be redacted. But the parts of the investigation that have become public — such as the Archives’ referral and possibly some of the statutes involved — may be unsealed.

One of the biggest pieces of suspense, for me, is whether Trump attempts to take action overnight to prevent this from coming out.

110 replies
  1. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bmaz opines in an earlier thread (I’m sure he’ll join in here), that “every word” of this “piece of shit order” should be appealed. How might that work, if Reinhart has agreed to the redactions proposed by the DoJ? Perhaps we’ll know by noon tomorrow.

    • Alan says:

      IMO, we already know. DOJ will file its redacted affidavit as ordered, and neither the DOJ, Trump, nor the mainstream media will appeal.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      We don’t know, but I agree that the odds are the DoJ waived any practical right to appeal when it offered Reinhart a redacted version and he accepted it.

        • Klaatu Something says:

          but what if the affidavit contains info that keenly needs to see the light of day and this is the quickest path for it?

          I don’t mean sources or methods or witnesses, I mean Trump details and such

          • bmaz says:

            And what is that bullshit could be argued every day as to any and every SW? Or is there simply an exception because every press and jackass in the world just wants to know simply because it involves Trump? Pretty hilarious how no man, even Trump, is above “the law” until a bunch of assholes in the the press and internet think he is, because reasons. The argument for release of anything is simply pathetic.

            • Alan Charbonneau says:

              The law in which many people believe is like the old western cliché “we’re gonna give you a fair trial and then we’re gonna hang you”.

              People like to say that if the rule of law doesn’t apply to Trump, it doesn’t apply to anyone. That’s true, but it also includes all of the protections of the law—you know, due process and all that.

              Just as street preachers can spew hate and still be defended on a first amendment basis, so can Trump break the law and still be entitled to all of the Constitutional rights we all have. Whether it’s Charles Manson, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, or Donald Trump, each of them is entitled to due process and, if indicted, a fair trial.

              • Alan Charbonneau says:

                Is “Klaatu” the name of the band and “Silly Boys” the name of the record, or vice-versa?

                • vvv says:

                  Klaatu is the band. When first they came out there were silly rumors that they were the Beatles, undercover. In later years the leader of the band spoke of how he studied the Beatles’ arrangements and harmonies and modeled his work after them.

                  For me they are like prog/Beatles.

    • DC says:

      It seems apparent that the DOJ is using this as an opportunity to share with the public what they want to be known in a manner where their ‘hands are tied’ and therefore it is not political. The only thing I’d be worried about is that something released may inadvertently tip trump off on who the informants are, but I’m sure the DOJ has taken all that into account and have been extremely careful.

  2. DavidA says:

    I gotta figure DoJ got a free pass here: we’ll redact everything we don’t want out, and we get to shape the narrative by putting out everything else, which we’re happy to release.

    So I’d be astonished if Trump’s lawyers, check that— I’d expect competent Trump lawyers to prevent it from being released.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Rick Wilson said the other night that Trumps attorneys are so bad that if you went into an abandoned strip mall that had only a pawn shop, a liquor store, and a law office, and you went into the law office and asked them if they work for Donald Trump, they’d be deeply insulted.

    • Chuffy says:

      Yeah, except that, by releasing even the redacted affidavit, this has now become a political move, rather than a legal one. Now, as absurd as it sounds, T****’s lawyers and everyone in conservative punditry can argue that it’s political. Because now it is.

      • DC says:

        You’ve got it backwards. It was political for trump and his crooked lackies to demand the affidavit released- and it played right into DOJ’s hands. Now they can publicly release exactly and only the damning information that they want, and it’s because they were legally compelled- so far as anyone could possibly say, their hands are tied!

  3. bbleh says:

    I hope I’m not colossally wrong in thinking this is not likely to be Good News for Donald Trump no matter how hard the RWNJs try to spin it.

    I’m sure there will be the usual fulminations about the Deep State and how the redactions are a coverup and so on, but I can’t imagine it’s going to make what is already an unattractive picture any prettier.

    And that I happened so zip-zap fast, oh my…

    • DC says:

      Trump’s head is spinning and at this point, he might want to start learning the lyrics to the Sting classic, “I hung my head”… actually he should have thought about that decades ago, and decided against a life of incriminating himself.

  4. RacerX says:

    Maybe this is just in New Mexico where I live, but Magistrate Court judges are not required to have a law degree or be a member of the state bar association. Anyone know if this is true everywhere in the USA or just in the Land of Enchantment?

      • RacerX says:

        On bright side, I’m apparently qualified to be a Magistrate Court judge.

        On the “WTF?” side, individuals with the same qualifications (or less) are currently empowered to judge me. *shivers*

        • SMF88011 says:

          I believe Federal Judges are required to have a law school education of some type.

          If I may ask, where in NM are you? I lived in Los Alamos, ABQ, Rio Rancho, and maintain a US address in Las Cruces right now.

        • Rayne says:

          Would you please provide a link to a government site/document which spells out minimum qualifications for a magistrate court judge? Thank you.

          • RacerX says:

            “New Mexico Magistrate Court
            See also: New Mexico Magistrate Court
            Judges of the New Mexico Magistrate Courts are elected to four-year terms. Vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment. A magistrate judge must be a resident and qualified elector of the magistrate district and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. In districts with a population over 200,000, magistrate judges must also be a member of the New Mexico Bar and licensed to practice law in New Mexico.[11]”

            Magistrate Court judges do not need to be members of the New Mexico Bar and licensed to practice law in New Mexico, except for in districts w/ 200,000+ population.

              • RacerX says:

                Apparently, but that’s why I asked in the first place—I wouldn’t presume to waste folks’ time asking questions to which I already know the answer.

          • CJ says:

            “By federal law, magistrate judges must meet specified eligibility criteria, including at least five years as a member in good standing of a state or territory’s highest court bar. They must also be vetted by a merit selection panel that consists of lawyers and non-lawyers from the community. By majority vote of the U.S. district judges of the court, magistrate judges are appointed for a renewable term of eight years. In addition, there are a small number of part-time magistrate judges who serve four-year terms.”, via

    • Judith Gran says:

      Judge Reinhart is not a local Magistrate; he’s a United States magistrate judge. Every federal court has district judges (including judges with senior status) and magistrate judges, who are judicial officers who assist the district judges with certain duties. They frequently serve as mediators and perform many functions in criminal proceedings, such as setting bail. Typically, they are assigned to help a number of the district judges on the court, and In many courts, the district judges routinely refer motions to them to decide. They can preside over a trial if the parties agree. Unlike district judges, they are not appointed by the President but by the active judges (i.e. those who have not yet taken senior status) on the district court in question. They are not confirmed by the Senate. They do not have life tenure.They can, however, be nominated and confirmed as district judges.

      Last year, I participated in a trial before a magistrate judge who had been a U.S. attorney before he was appointed a magistrate judge. He had been editor in chief of the law review when he was in law school. He had the best command of the Federal Rules of Evidence of any judge I’ve been before.

      So yes, Reinhart is pretty well-qualified.

    • bbleh says:

      He’s a FEDERAL magistrate judge, who IIRC is appointed by the federal judges in his/her district, so presumably the standards are rather higher than for a state or local magistrate judge.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think you’ll find federal magistrates are a different breed altogether, even though they are not Art. III judges.

    • Dave_MB says:

      Federal Magistrate’s handle the smaller or more mundane tasks for Federal District Court Judges. They are very different than State Court Magistrate’s.

      And Tom Stickler is correct. In South Carolina, they finally required high school diplomas for local Magistrate’s which is our version of small claims court, which has a maximum dollar limit of $7,500.

      • RacerX says:

        Thanks. That’s too bad for Reinhart—he could use a good excuse for releasing the redacted affadavit…

  5. GWPDA says:

    At this point, as a retired Fed, I can contribute a minor collection of factoids. There are (roughly) 2,00,000 current federal employees. There are (roughly) 3,000,000 current military service people. There are (roughly) 2,000,000 federal contract employees. Every single one of these people, every year, is required to take security training dealing with handling classified material. It is immaterial whether any of these 7million+ people hold security clearances. All of them, every year, are trained as to how to handle classified material. Every single one is informed as to the consequences of mishandling classified material. Every single one.

    • NeoGeoHa says:

      100% correct. I take that and several others every year. Ethics, Hatch act, etc…. A small violation of ANY of these get you in serious hot water IMMEDIATELY if you are just a regular government employee or contractor.

    • SMF88011 says:

      As someone that has held a security clearance for 3 decades, I can tell you that I have had to go through the annual security refresher training and know that you cannot handle classified documents like Trump evidently did. Further, I know if you put off the annual training by 1 day too many, you are denied access to security areas. I had until the 11th day one month and was going to do it as soon as I got into the office at 9AM on the 11th. They wouldn’t let me in because it expired. I had to do it from a cafeteria run by the lab that wasn’t “behind the fence”.

    • BirdGardener says:

      I, too, am a retired US Federal employee. Aside from a summer job at the FAA, my work was at one federal agency. We did not ever handle classified material, and we never got training on handling classified material. So, unless something has changed and the gov’t now spends resources training employees to handle classified material they will never see, your statement could use some qualifiers.

      • Bruce Stewart says:

        (Also a bird gardener) Serious qualifiers. I worked for many years at a national laboratory that did no defense-related research, never had security training until I switched jobs to a defense contractor.

        • DrFunguy says:

          I too call BS on the notion that all federal employees get training in handling classified material; worked for USFS, BLM & NPS. Had permanent status for most of it.
          Information security, sure; classified, not so much.

  6. Arice says:

    Marcy, I’m curious what legal actions Trump and his camp would be able to take overnight since they didn’t take a position in the first hearing? Usually you have to participate in the first step to appeal something at the second step. But maybe this situation is different?

    • NeoGeoHa says:

      I guess they could file for an emergency injunction to stop its release, but if their only reason behind such a request is it will make TFG look bad, that probably won’t cut it.

      • bbleh says:

        And is it relevant that they took no position regarding the motion to unseal it? I mean, it would seem a little late to be coming in and trying to block it AFTER a decision …

  7. hollywood says:

    Per the terms of the order, the DOJ could post/release the redacted order right now. That would prevent any last minute Hail Mary by Trump.

    • bmaz says:

      If DOJ are incompetent idiots. Which appears to be what the public and press clamor is for instead of competence and professionalism. Good job people; cheer for the dumbest thing possible.

      • ergo says:

        are you expecting the DOJ to be influenced by that, or merely highlighting how sensationalist our press is? Just wondering.

      • hollywood says:

        So you think even a redacted affidavit gives Trump’s attorneys too much information about DOJ’s trial strategy? BTW, who are Trump’s attorneys at this juncture?

        • bmaz says:

          No. I think even a redacted affidavit is more than anybody should have, and makes a mockery of DOJ protocols, not to mention Rule 6. But, hey, all the internet people, including, apparently here, have a lot more experience. All the young grand jury geniuses carry the news.

          • Dave_MB says:

            In general I agree with you. There was such an uproar in the conservative media system about how unfair and unwarranted the warrant was, there does seem to be a bit of national interest in it. Especially with Trump stirring the pot and calling for it’s release as well.

            I know that isn’t standard protocol, though. And don’t like that people won’t just let the system play itself out.

          • hollywood says:

            So you are a rules and protocols guy. I can generally respect that. Did Barr respect that? Did Jeffrey Clark respect that? Perhaps this case is the exception that proves the rules?
            Mott also covered “You Really Got Me.” Hopefully DOJ really has him.

      • DC says:

        Please calm down and stop acting like a child. Many professional elite career prosecutors and investigators comprise the DOJ. One would think they know the specifics of their job better than you might.

  8. Badger Robert says:

    I doubt there will be an appeal. The media will work on the bulk of the document, with the tidbits that are unredacted. The Trump side doesn’t have the resources for an argument that is going to fail.

  9. L. Eslinger says:

    Unfortunately for Trump’s attorneys, they’ve forgotten their PACER login credentials, and when they tried to do a reset the system sent a link to a now expired email account.

  10. Drew says:

    I’m inclined to agree with your earlier post that the appropriate amount of the affidavit that should be unsealed right now is ZERO (0), but there is a good faith set of reasons to release some redacted parts. This IS a situation of huge national interest-a former president-& kind of current presidential candidate- under criminal investigation connected with his behavior as president. Speculation, including speculation masquerading as fact reporting, will continue to dominate the news. So releasing enough facts to put a fence around that speculation and give conspiracy theories less change to get traction (conspiracy theories and fantasies on both right & left by the way) has some justification.

    That would be an argument from the media organizations. A Justice Department that has as its principle, pride and theme that it lets its filings and indictments do the talking might also regard its non-redactions as a good way to rebut the disinformation and arguments of Trump and the GOP.

    Also, there has been quite a bit of public pressure from the Gang of Eight, asking for information and briefings etc. Releasing a controlled redacted portion of the affidavit could help DoJ set an agenda for any congressional briefing they might do-holding it to slight elaboration and clarification of the parts released -rather than allowing the documents seized, etc to be discussed. It definitely would help them in making their arguments on this to the Democratic members of the Gang of Eight.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      Total nonsense.

      The ONLY reason, ‘good faith’ or otherwise, for releasing the affadavit was because it was established as having some sort of magical ‘historical significance’. Publishing the facts is not going to have mis- and disinformation miraculously cease.

      As far as J6C is concerned, they don’t need to have anything released publicly to perform their job. Worse still would be if it was for the purposes that you suggest.

      • AgainBrain says:

        The most depressing aspect is how many are gladly willing to become monsters while hunting them — that’s what the monsters want, it’s how the rule of law ends.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Norman Pattis represents Alex Jones in Connecticut regarding claims by Sandy Hook plaintiffs. Pattis’s office recently sent Jones’s Texas attorney confidential medical records concerning those Connecticut plaintiffs, which the Texas attorney cannot ethically possess. In a hearing today in Connecticut, the second of two, about Pattis’s alleged misconduct in that transfer, Pattis took the Fifth.

    It’s hard to describe how damaging that would be. If a federal employee took the Fifth regarding their conduct at work, for example, they would lose any clearance they had and would be inviting immediate termination.

    Pattis, on the other hand, is a name partner in his own firm, whose website prominently lists its claimed areas of expertise, the first of which is, “Professional Misconduct.” Something tells me Norm is gonna need a bigger boat.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Perhaps they should be credited with being honest when they say, “We specialize in professional misconduct.”

    • DaveC says:

      Most of my info on Pattis’ misconduct is from EW. Seems to me the CT court has to apply a meaningful sanction on Pattis, or else it condones the misconduct. I don’t have any sense of what a meaningful sanction would be, but if it doesn’t punish Pattis or his client, it wouldn’t be meaningful.

      • joel fisher says:

        The PR Rules are supposed to protect the public–including other lawyers and their clients–from unethical behavior. It’s hard to imagine how that policy could be furthured by anything less than a suspension until the questions at issue are resolved and the lawyer(s) in question answer the questions posed.

  12. Doctor My Eyes says:

    All the hubbub and minor plot twists, it seems to me, distract from we the people keeping perspective on what is going on here, hence several commenters looking for ways to underline what a BFD it is that a former president thinks he has a right to possess highly classified materials. I mean, first of all, it’s a batshit insane stance, whatever legal codes may apply. But our attention span is so short and we crave stimulation so, that we clamor for more detail, even though no detail in the affidavit will have a substantive affect on the overall understanding of the situation. Trump has definitely compromised classified material–there is no doubt–and he may have compromised classified material in a way that will bring serious damage to the United States. I don’t see any way there is a public good to be served by throwing out a little more stimulation, even though I will enjoy the analysis. We’re like children, looking for a thrill while being inured to the gravity of the situation. Releasing the affidavit serves zero purpose.

    It amazes me that media discussion of Trump continues to pretend he is somehow reasonable and at least has some concept of the rule of law, as though he is consciously deciding which rules to break or gives two figs whether what he has done was done correctly. He’s a fucking lunatic and a grave danger to our national security. This should be the context of discussion, but seemingly it never will be in the network media.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      I have a little more clarity on what I was trying to get at. The main story is about the national security of the USA. Once Trump was careless with material classified at such high levels, he became secondary to the story. The FBI is not the story. Garland is not the story. The pace of the investigation is, at best, a minor side note. There has been precious little that I have seen discussing the possible or even probable harm that has been done. It is possible that assets will die. It is possible that something revealed could lead to the assassination of a US President It is possible that an exorbitantly expensive weapons system will be ineffective on delivery. It is possible that our most secret communications are compromised. There is no end to this list. Who gives a shit what Trump is thinking or feeling? And yet I find myself often on the emotional level of wishing petty vengeance on a person I’ve never met.

      • Hopeful says:

        You are right!

        It is not the nature of TFG to back down; Double Down is his key strategy.

        If he had turned over all of his documents on June 3, it would almost be a “no harm, no foul” situation; maybe a gentle slap on the wrist.

        Now………TSHHTF. He has placed himself in a very vulnerable situation. Can’t screw around with highly classified materials.

        Through all of his legal maneuverings over the years, he has finally brought himself face to face with self inflicted destruction.

      • cmarlowe says:

        (1) But our attention span is so short and we crave stimulation so, that we clamor for more detail…
        (2) There has been precious little that I have seen discussing the possible or even probable harm that has been done.

        I put the 2 most important sentences from Doctor’s two insightful posts together because, as for (2), we get get some generalities (like “it’s bad”) but we are just not going get much detail no matter how much people may clamor. That is as it must be.

    • DC says:

      This is true. We can all say “something should have been done to stop this monster long ago”. That doesn’t change anything though. I believe the monster is nearing his end. I agree it is important that we keep that the main narrative of the situation.

    • timbo says:

      You failed to mention the basic fact that apparently Twitler and his Twisslerings stole government records that they weren’t entitled to take or possess, regardless of whether those documents were classified or not.

  13. Rbo says:

    Hi I am a postal carrier and not read in the art of law but that’s why I come here–it’s like paradise to someone like me who all I do is work but read avidly when I have time–the USPS is in crisis so it’s really hard to keep up with things, and the analysis as well as comments following your various contributors (and I mean ALL your writers are so coool!!) are an inspiration and a help. I once donated my used car to democracynow and begged them to ask Dr Wheeler on which she appeared shortly thereafter and I always wondered if I helped!

    So, on the website (it is depressingly rightwing) there is a link to a story that freaks me out.

    I don’t know who Rivkin and Casey (the authors) are and have zero free time, so maybe they’re shills or con-artist journos or lawyers but does their argument have merit? I mean, no, right? So why are they making it? ugh

    Thank you again everybody and sorry to be so fawning but I never comment, I’m too frightened of the possible evisceration heh-heh

      • DC says:

        Perchance that was a mirror you knew? From my first impression, your attitude doesn’t seem to solicit much ‘help’… possibly that is something you could address?

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

        It’s behind a paywall but if what they think that what they say at the outset:

        “The warrant authorized the FBI to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§793, 2071, or 1519””

        gets The Donald off they are different shade of legal ‘expert’.

        If he held one single scrap of SCI material he’s guilty.

    • joel fisher says:

      I saw that article and essentially it said the former–thanks to the Presidential Records Act–can do anything he wants with the records. Probably not true, but even if true, but he certainly can’t lie to investigators who ask him questions.

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

        DEFINITELY not true no matter how anyone wants to try to spin it. He is clearly in possession of material that NO POTUS has the authority to miraculously ‘declassify’ unilaterally.

    • pseudo42 says:

      Jack Goldsmith has a detailed rebuttal of the Rivkin and Casey WSJ op-ed at https://www.lawfareblog. com/presidential-records-act-and-mar-lago-documents (remove space).

      Key point that Rivkin and Casey ignore: the PRA states that the national archivist “shall deposit all such Presidential records in a Presidential archival depository or another archival facility operated by the United States.” And the US “shall reserve and retain complete ownership, possession, and control of Presidential records.”

      Rivkin and Casey’s central argument seems to be that individual-1 had the “right of access” to the documents under the PRA. Goldsmith distinguishes between access and control.

      Also, like everyone else who’s paying attention, Goldsmith also reiterates that the statutes cited in the warrant itself do “not necessarily turn on whether the PRA was violated”. A person can have a valid claim to possess national security information and still be guilty of mishandling that information or worse.

  14. Pedro P says:

    I agree that the redacted affidavit probably won’t yield much relevant information.

    Another thing to consider is that if we haven’t seen the anonymous leak yet about what’s in the top secret docs, it might not be as advertised. The nuclear doc leak kind of fizzled and I wonder if this recent batch of docs will live up to its hype.

    • DC says:

      I’ve read specifically that the compromise of some of the documents in question is so damaging that even to disclose how damaging it is would do further damage to American national security. That’s nearly an exact quote. I believe the opposite of what you surmise is actually the case.

      • timbo says:

        Certainly publicly revealing what secrets might have been exposed at Mar-a-Lago with any specificity would not likely help damage assessment and tracing efforts by various US and allied intelligence entities. USG intelligence analysts will be trying to determine probabilities that particular hostile foreign entities have gotten this information and how they attained it. The temporal order in which such information is disseminated is also important to understand when making this sort of analysis as well, not just for understanding direct potential risk to US security but also to understand adversary intelligence methods and networks. Publicly stating what these secrets are would just make all of this sort of analysis harder on those tasked to do this analysis with little (if any) concomitant benefit to national security.

    • Tom-1812 says:

      From my limited knowledge of intelligence matters, I would gather that the security risk arises not merely from the exposure of individual files labelled Top Secret, but also from scattered bits of apparently less significant information contained in all those boxes of documents that adversaries could put together with other intelligence they already possess to help them gain a greater insight into the nation’s strengths, weaknesses, and strategic policies and goals.

      • Tom-1812 says:

        I should have said “… nation’s–and its allies–strengths, weaknesses …” because this story likely has grave security implications for America’s partners around the globe.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      “The nuclear doc leak kind of fizzled…”

      That’s because there was never any mention of nuclear anything as I have been at pains to point out.

      While nuclear secrets are usually TS/SCI all TS/SCI are NOT nuclear secrets!

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

        And now even The Donald is bleating ‘NO NUCLEAR’.

        Hey look at THIS shiny thing that no one ever suggested I was holding.

        Stop buying into the misdirection.

  15. Hatteras RH says:

    Another circus orchestrated by Trump, and the media and people fell for it.

    If the interest was genuinely to know the contents of the search warrant and property recites, Trump should have been asked.

    Instead Trump creates a big distraction and the media and curious people line up to be taken advantage of.

    Originally posted under Robert_H
    Asked to change, hope this is better

  16. newbroom says:

    an excerpted comment from Drew, just this part, made me think? bawahaha.
    “So releasing enough facts to put a fence around that speculation..”
    I think speculation is a capitalist mandate, and that we are confused about people vs money. I know I am.

  17. bmaz says:

    Have been more than supportive of Garland and DOJ. Until right now. What a pathetic and cowardly fuckstick he demonstrated himself to be on this issue. Just fucking cowardly to give into this ginned up horse manure. I am embarrassed for DOJ at this moment.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      And then to NOT redact Trump’s name which opens him up to further accusations of political interference.

      I GET why he would do it but that’s only EVER going to come back to bite him in the court of public opinion…unfortunately.

Comments are closed.