Trump, DOJ tangled over ‘special master’ to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago

Prosecutors also proposed former federal appeals court judge Thomas Griffith, a George HW Bush appointee who retired in 2020 from the powerful DC Circuit.

Trump, on the other hand, nominated Raymond Dearie, a retired and Ronald Reagan-appointed chief federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, who also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Dearie, who notably presided over corruption cases against FIFA officials, also signed one of the warrants used by the FBI to surveil 2016 Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Trump’s attorneys have also named Paul Huck Jr., who appears to have significant ties to figures in Trump’s orbit. The former Jones Day attorney advised Florida Governor Charlie Crist in 2007-08, serving in his administration at the same time as current Trump attorney Chris Kise also advised Crist, who was then a Republican but is now a Democrat . Huck is married to Barbara Lagoa, a Trump federal appeals court judge also considered for the Supreme Court. Lagoa is one of 11 judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel is expected to soon hear the DOJ’s appeal of Cannon’s special order.

Another disagreement emerged over the timing of the special main review. The DOJ has proposed the review be completed by Oct. 17, while Trump’s lawyers argued it would take more than twice as long, asking for 90 days for the process to take place.

Cannon will now review the proposals, as well as the Justice Department’s broader objections to the special main review, before deciding on next steps.

Prosecutors said if she doesn’t act by Thursday on their request to essentially exclude the potentially classified documents from the special main review, they plan to forward their request to the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit. The Justice Department also asked Cannon to lift the portion of its Monday order that temporarily prevents investigators from reviewing documents that contain potential national security secrets.

So far, neither side appears to have officially rejected the other side’s special master nominees, but prosecutors told Cannon they didn’t get Trump’s names until “shortly after” 6 p.m. Friday. .

The main sticking point in the special master plans drawn up by the two sides seems to be the set of about 100 documents with classification marks, such as “Top Secret”. As part of their appeal filed Thursday, prosecutors are asking that potentially classified records be excluded from the review process the special master would undertake.

Trump’s lawyers say the material should also be subject to review by the special master and they argue that Trump has the right to see and potentially assert executive privilege on all classified documents that are considered presidential documents in under federal law.

Notably, in Friday night’s filing, Trump’s attorneys once again failed to echo Trump’s claim that he had declassified one of the documents he had at Mar-a-Lago.

Another point of disagreement: the special note of the master. Prosecutors say Trump should bear the entire cost, since he was the one who requested the independent arbitrator. Trump’s team wants to go Dutch, with each side footing half the bill.

The next move in the legal fight is expected Monday morning, when Trump’s attorneys face a deadline to respond to the Justice Department’s request for Cannon to exempt records with classification marks from primary review. special. Trump’s lawyers announced Friday that they plan to oppose such an exclusion.

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