Judge proposed by Trump named special master in Mar-a-Lago records case

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A federal judge appointed Raymond Deary, a senior U.S. District Judge with experience handling U.S. national security cases, as an independent arbitrator to investigate records seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Florida property in an ongoing criminal investigation. has been nominated.

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Florida-based U.S. District Judge Ellen Cannon on Thursday appointed Dearie to serve as a special master in the legal battle between Trump and the Justice Department over the grounds the former president held at his Florida resort.

Dearie was one of two candidates for the position proposed by the former president, and the US Justice Department said it would not oppose his appointment.

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In his order, Cannon also rejected the Justice Department’s demand that prosecutors be allowed to continue reviewing confiscated records while the dispute continues, and claims that the records contain highly classified and sensitive material. The investigation is immediate.

“The Court does not consider it appropriate to accept the Government’s findings on these important and disputed issues without a prompt and systematic review by a neutral third party,” Canon said in its ruling.

Dearie, who is 78 and lives in Brooklyn, is tasked with deciding whether any of the documents seized by the FBI during the August search are privileged—either because of attorney-client secrecy. or through a legal principle called executive privilege – and should be closed to the limits of federal investigators

Dairy has until November 30 – mid-term – to conclude the review. Trump must pay the costs associated with the Special Master.

Earlier this month, Cannon requested the name of a special master to investigate the records seized by Trump’s lawyers.

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Trump is being investigated by the Justice Department for maintaining government records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach after leaving office in January 2021 – some of which are marked as highly classified, including “top secret” it was done. During a search of the property, FBI agents seized more than 11,000 records and 48 empty folders marked classified.

The Justice Department is also looking at potential impediments to the investigation after it found evidence that records were removed or concealed from the FBI when it sent agents to the property in June to attempt to recover all classified documents.

Dearie served as a U.S. attorney in Brooklyn before being appointed to a federal bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and was chief justice of that court from 2007 to 2011. He assumed what is a senior position – a sort of semi-retirement with a lower case load – in 2011, a role in which he continues to serve.

The Justice Department said in a court filing on Monday that Dearie’s experience as a judge qualified her for the special master role, but Trump’s team opposed the other candidate, proposed by private attorney Paul Huck. Trump’s lawyers opposed the two retired federal judges proposed by the department.

On the bench, Diary was one of several judges presiding over cases against several men accused in 2009 of plotting to bomb New York City’s subway system at the instructions of al-Qaeda leaders.

Dearie was appointed in 2011 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews US government warrant applications on matters of national security, where he served until 2019.

In 2017, he was one of four federal judges who approved a warrant used to survey former Trump campaign aide Carter Page amid concerns about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russians. According to the papers released to media outlets used to sue for the record.

The Justice Department had resisted Trump’s request for a special master to review the seized documents to see whether investigators should be barred from being privileged.

Deciding in favor of Trump’s request for a special master, Cannon rejected the department’s arguments that the records belong to the government and that because Trump is no longer president, he cannot claim executive privileges. Cannon was appointed to the bench by Trump in 2020.

The scrutiny of the documents is one of several federal and state investigations Trump is facing from his time in office and private business as he considers another race for the presidency in 2024.

Source: www.theguardian.com

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