DOJ, Trump each offered special masters for the Mar-a-Lago probe. Here are the 4 nominees

district court Judge Aileen Cannonthe Trump-appointed judge presiding over the case, earlier this week granted the former president’s request to appoint a third-party attorney, known as special masterto independently review documents — including more than 100 classified documents — that the FBI seized from his Florida residence and resort.
Trump’s legal team has argued that the Justice Department cannot be trusted to do its own review of potentially privileged documents that should be severed from the criminal investigation. The Department of Justice on Thursday appealed the court-ordered special main review because he argued that the order endangered the national security of the United States.

Cannon said she would “quickly” decide on the “exact details and mechanics” of the special masters process after both sides submit their proposals, but it’s unclear when the judge will rule or what form that decision will take.

Here are the four people named in the duel proposals to serve as a special master:

Thomas Griffith, DOJ candidate

Thomas Griffith, a retired federal judge appointed by George W. Bush, served on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals from 2005 to 2020. In one of his last major rulings before retiring, he writes the majority opinion rejecting House Democrats’ attempt to subpoena former Trump White House attorney Don McGahn. (The decision was later reversed.)
In the years following his retirement, Griffith co-author of a report alongside other prominent conservative lawyers and officials debunking Trump’s lies about massive fraud in the 2020 election. And he publicly approved President Joe Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.

Barbara Jones, DOJ Candidate

Barbara Jones, another retired and Clinton-appointed federal judge, is a former federal prosecutor and retired judge for the Southern District of New York from 1995 to 2012. She brings a lot of special master’s experience to the table, having recently served in that position for three high-profile criminal investigations with political implications.

She was tapped to serve as a special master to examine materials seized during an FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in April 2021. She was also a special counsel in the Michael Cohen case, to ensure that investigators did not scan confidential attorney-client documents. Giuliani and Cohen were both Trump’s attorneys while they were under investigation by the Justice Department.
More recently, Jones was the special master who reviewed documents the FBI seized from Project Veritas, a right-wing group that often targets Democrats and media organizations with undercover stings. Jones was brought in to review the documents for First Amendment and attorney-client considerations.

Paul Huck Jr., Trump candidate

Huck, who has his own law firm, had been a partner at the law firm Jones Day, which represented the Trump campaign in 2016, and a contributor to the conservative Federalist Society legal organization.

Huck also served as Florida’s assistant attorney general and general counsel for former Florida Governor Charlie Crist – who was a Republican at the time but served as a Democratic member of the US House and is the Democratic nominee for governor in Florida. . Chris Kise, Trump’s current attorney, also worked for Crist and rode Huck. They worked together at the Florida Attorney General’s office.

Huck’s wife, Barbara Lagoa, was on Trump’s shortlist as a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Raymond Dearie, Trump candidate

Dearie, a Reagan nominee, has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. He retired in 2011 and is now a senior circuit judge.

Dearie also served a seven-year term on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court. He was one of the judges who approved an FBI and the DOJ monitoring request Carter Page, Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, in the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The process used by federal investigators to obtain FISA warrants was full of errors and overall negligence, according to a DOJ Inspector General’s report. Two of the four surveillance warrants granted by the secret FISA court relating to Page have since been declared invalid — including one approved by Dearie in June 2017 — due to omissions and errors in the FBI’s submissions to the court.

Team Trump’s nomination of Dearie is notable because Trump has repeatedly criticized FISA oversight and claimed – without evidence – that it was part of a “deep state” plot to undermine his country.

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