Judge appoints Dearie special counsel in Trump Mar-a-Lago case


A federal judge has appointed Raymond J. Dearie, a former chief federal judge in New York, to sort through the more than 11,000 documents — including classified documents — that FBI agents seized from the former president’s residence. Donald Trump in Florida last month, to see if there are any. should be protected from criminal investigators because of attorney-client or executive privileges.

The decision could significantly slow a high-profile investigation into the former president, which prosecutors say has already been halted. at a key moment by the judge’s skepticism that the Justice Department acted fairly in the Trump investigation.

Trump’s legal team nominated Dearie as a candidate to be special counsel in the high-profile case, and the Justice Department accepted the selection last week. But the two sides still disagree on whether searching highly sensitive classified documents should be part of the special master’s responsibilities.

Ultimately, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon ruled in favor of Trump and said the special master should review the classified documents, although she said Dearie should prioritize those documents. She rejected an offer from prosecutors to allow them to use the seized material in their ongoing criminal investigation before Dearie examines her.

Trump and the Mar-a-Lago Documents: A Timeline

In her Thursday night judgingCannon rejected Justice Department arguments that its decision to bar investigators from using seized information while the special captain conducts his review would cause serious harm to the national security investigation.

Impartial application of legal rules “does not require unquestioning reliance on Justice Department decisions,” Cannon wrote in a ruling that will almost certainly be appealed by the government.

Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed by the US Senate just days after Trump lost his re-election bid, added that she still “firmly” believes that the appointment of a special master and a temporary injunction against the Department of Justice using the documents, is keeping “the need to provide at least the appearance of fairness and integrity in unprecedented circumstances”.

Prosecutors previously reported that if Cannon did not change its restrictions on the criminal investigation of Trump and his aides for possibly mishandling national defense information, or hiding or destroying government records, they would file an appeal. Prosecutors had also requested that any special main examination not include the approximately 100 classified documents the FBI found among the documents confiscated while executing a court-approved search warrant on August 8. The government has said delaying investigators’ access to those documents could be a problem. national security risks.

Material on the nuclear capabilities of a foreign country seized at Mar-a-Lago

By asking the judge to reverse at least part of her special main ruling, prosecutors had argued that Trump could not claim attorney-client or executive privilege over classified documents, which by definition are the property of the federal government. .

Cannon flatly rejected those arguments in its filing, saying whether the documents marked classified were in fact classified is a matter of dispute. Trump’s attorneys suggested the documents might not be classified, but did not claim in their court appearances or court filings that Trump declassified them.

The judge said she did not necessarily believe prosecutors, writing, “The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the government’s findings on these important and contested issues without further review by a neutral third party in a speedy and orderly manner.”

Dearie, 78, was appointed to the federal bench in Brooklyn by President Ronald Reagan after serving as a U.S. Attorney in the same district. Fellow lawyers and colleagues describe him as an exemplary jurist well-suited to the job of special master, having previously served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees sensitive national security cases.

Patrick Cotter, who served as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, said he was surprised Trump’s team suggested such a smart and quiet judge.

“There wasn’t a lot of personality, and I mean that as a compliment. Ray wasn’t buddy, and he wasn’t some good old boy from Brooklyn or some high guy trying to impress you,” Cotter said. “He was a very pragmatic, down-to-earth judge with minimal of the pump. It will do credible work, and do it quickly.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.


About Author

Comments are closed.