On September 5th, Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request to appoint a special master to review the documents seized during the FBI raid of Mar-A-Lago. The documents may be protected by attorney-client and executive privilege.
On Monday evening, the Justice Department agreed that Judge Raymond J. Dearie would be an acceptable choice for an independent arbiter of the seized documents. Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith are the DOJ’s preferred nominees. Dearie was appointed by Ronald Reagan. However, it is unknown and unsettling why Judge Dearie was a Trump legal team nominee for special master.
The only special master candidate Trump and the DOJ can agree on: 78-year-old judge Raymond Dearie appointed by Reagan. The Department of Justice has signed off on one of former President Donald Trump's candidates to serve as special master. https://t.co/II8JoIaE4V
— America The Bold (@LDTFL2) September 13, 2022
The Biden DOJ and Trump’s attorney team put forth two choices each. Trump’s team asked for either Judge Dearie or Judge Huck. The DOJ wanted Judge Jones or Judge Griffith. Both agreed on Justice Dearie.
The DOJ said Jones, Griffith, and Dearie had “important qualifications for this position” given their “previous judicial experience and engagement in relevant areas of law,” according to the Epoch Times.
“Judges Jones, Griffith, and Dearie each have substantial judicial experience, during which they have presided over federal criminal and civil cases, including federal cases involving national security and privilege concerns,” the DOJ filing said.
Judge Dearie is a semi-retired U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York. It is disconcerting that he served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) from 2012 to 2019, and was one of the FISA Court judges who sealed the warrants to spy on Carter Page. It is highly questionable why the Trump legal team would choose him as a nominee.
Presiding Judge Cannon has not yet approved a special master, and her timeline for deciding is unknown.