Court Battles

Trump, DOJ lawyers to convene for first conference with special master

AP-Jon Elswick
A page from the order by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon naming Raymond Dearie as special master to serve as an independent arbiter and to review records seized during the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, is photographed Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

The newly appointed special master who will review the documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago directed lawyers for former President Trump and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to meet with him in New York on Tuesday for their first conference.

Judge Raymond Dearie, who was appointed as special master in the case on Thursday, called on Friday for a meeting and invited the two parties to suggest items for discussion, according to a court filing.

Dearie has until Nov. 30 to complete his review of the documents.

As the special master process moves forward, the Justice Department is continuing its legal battle to gain access to the classified documents seized from Trump’s Florida home last month. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, earlier this month blocked prosecutors from accessing the documents until the special master finishes his review and on Thursday rejected the DOJ’s motion to regain access.

On Friday night, the DOJ appealed the decision in a new motion to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

The DOJ argued that it needs to review the sensitive documents due to national security concerns. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the FBI found a document detailing an unnamed foreign nation’s nuclear capabilities in its search of Mar-a-Lago, along with roughly 100 other documents labeled as confidential.

Dearie, the one special master candidate agreed upon by both Trump’s legal team and the DOJ, announced his full retirement from the U.S. District Court for Eastern New York in late August after serving as a senior judge since 2011 and previously as a chief judge of the court from 2007 to 2011. He was appointed to the court by former President Reagan and confirmed by the Senate in 1986.

Dearie also served on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court, for seven years, during which time he was one of the judges who approved the 2016 warrant the FBI used to surveil Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page amid the DOJ’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election. From 1982 to 1986, Dearie served as the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Tags classified documents Department of Justice Department of Justice DOJ Donald Trump Donald Trump FBI search of Mar-a-Lago Mar-a-Lago documents probe Raymond Dearie Raymond Dearie special master Special Master
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