The Justice Department announced its support for one of former President Donald Trump’s picks for special master in the upcoming case tied to the raid on his Florida home in August.
In court papers revealed on Monday, the Justice Department announced that they supported Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York. Dearie, along with Paul Huck Jr., a prominent Florida lawyer, was nominated as a potential candidate to be special master by attorneys representing Trump on Friday.
The Justice Department supports the appointment of Dearie, or either of the two candidates it proposed, but opposed Huck Jr. because he “does not appear to have similar experience” in federal criminal and civil cases.
Trump’s attorneys, on the other hand, opposed both of the Justice Department’s picks: Barbara Jones, who served on the federal bench in Manhattan, and Thomas Griffith, a former federal appeals court jurist in the District of Columbia, making Dearie a de facto candidate. However, U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon still has to formally appoint Dearie to the role.
Trump’s attorneys want the special master to have access to all seized evidence that was taken from the former president’s home, Mar-a-Lago, by the FBI so that they can remove any documents that may be protected by executive privilege. This includes records with classification markings.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, does not believe that the special master should be able to inspect classified records or review documents for potential executive privilege.
Cannon ruled last week that a special master would be appointed to the case, stating in her order that, “The Court hereby authorizes the appointment of a special master to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.”
The Daily Wire noted at the time that “Cannon’s order also temporarily stops the FBI’s criminal investigation into the materials seized from Trump,” a move the bureau strongly resisted. The FBI argued that their filter team had already reviewed their documents and the investigation must move forward.
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