Anti-Semitic Threats Mount to Judge Who Signed Warrant

Florida synagogue increases security after search of Trump's home
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2022 10:35 AM CDT
Florida Judge, Synagogue Receive Anti-Semitic Threats
The Paul G. Rogers Federal Courthouse on Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Approval of the search of former President Donald Trump's home has brought a federal magistrate judge in Florida—and his synagogue—a deluge of anti-Semitic threats. Temple Beth David has added security and canceled an outdoor service because of the threats, Politico reports. The attacks against Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart have been posted on right-wing message boards and social media sites. One post, for example, used a Jewish slur and called him a pedophile who "should be tried for treason and executed," per the Religious News Service.

Republican elected officials also have attacked the judge, without calling for violence, including one of his home state senators. "They found some Obama donor judge, not even a judge, a magistrate, to give them the search warrant," said Sen. Marco Rubio on Fox News. Reinhart donated to former President Barack Obama's campaign in 2008 but also contributed to Republican candidate Jeb Bush in 2016. Days later, Rubio tweeted that one threatening violence in connection with the Mar-a-Lago search should be arrested. Palm Beach Gardens police said they're working with federal law enforcement officials to address the threats.

Aryeh Tuchman of the Anti-Defamation League's Center for Extremism said his organization is monitoring the threats generally, as well as those against Reinhart. "I think it’s fair to say certainly where the judge is concerned, reports of vitriol directed at him and the synagogue have increased," Tuchman said. Fox News showed a doctored photo of Reinhart receiving a foot massage from Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted sex trafficker. Brian Kilmeade, the host, posted later that it was a joke. "Right wingers are weaponizing the synagogue affiliation of a judge who was doing his job," said Jeffrey Salkin, a rabbi, adding, "I would welcome the protests of the Republican Jewish Coalition." (More antisemitism stories.)

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