The Department of Justice on Monday agreed that a judge should consider one of former President Donald Trump’s proposed nominees to be a special master reviewing documents seized in the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
After the raid, Trump said a special master should be appointed to sort through the documents seized and determine which ones should not be reviewed as part of any federal investigation into allegations that the former president removed classified documents when he left the White House in January 2021.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon agreed with Trump and asked him and the Department of Justice to each put forward nominees.
Last week, Trump proposed two nominees – Raymond Dearie, a retired chief U.S. district judge in New York, and Paul Huck Jr., a Florida attorney.
The Justice Department nominated Barbara Jones, a former U.S. district judge in New York, and Thomas Griffith, a lawyer and former judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
On Monday, the DOJ said it would support three of the four names in contention for the job.
“[T]he government hereby advises the Court that, because previous federal judicial experience and engagement in relevant areas of law are important qualifications for this position, the government submits that the Court should select one of the following three proposed candidates as special master: The Honorable Barbara S. Jones (ret.), The Honorable Thomas B. Griffith (ret.), or The Honorable Raymond J. Dearie,” the federal filing said.
“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 government respectfully opposes the appointment of Paul Huck Jr., who does not appear to have similar experience,” the filing said.
“The government understands that each of the three candidates with prior judicial experience also currently employs staff who could assist in timely performing the duties assigned to the special master,” it said.
In a Monday filing, Trump opposed the two Justice Department nominees.
“Plaintiff objects to the proposed nominees of the Department of Justice. Plaintiff believes there are specific reasons why those nominees are not preferred for service as Special Master in this case,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. Specific objections were not provided in detail, according to CNN.
Cannon will decide which nominee is selected.
Trump trashes both DOJ special master candidates, but DOJ says it’s open to Judge Raymond Dearie, who is very widely respected from his days on the federal bench in Brooklyn (as well as the FISA court). So he’s the odds-on favorite at this point.
— Harry Litman (@harrylitman) September 13, 2022
According to The Washington Post, Dearie, 78, still serves as a judge in a federal court in Brooklyn but is on senior status, which means he could reduce the cases he hears there.
The Post said Dearie was a U.S. attorney in Brooklyn in the 1980s and formerly served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews national security cases.
Fascinating 2018 testament to one of Team Trump’s Special Master candidates — Raymond Dearie — from someone decidedly non-Trumpy. https://t.co/rYe8QQsPDU
— Dan Lavoie (@djlavoie) September 10, 2022
Before the review begins, its scope will need to be worked out, a point on which the two sides disagree.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.