Judge appoints special master to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago
Updated September 15, 2022 at 8:23 PM ET
A federal judge in Florida has named Raymond Dearie as special master to review materials seized from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, denying the Justice Department's request to block the process, in which the government cannot use the materials seized for their criminal investigation until the review is complete.
Dearie, a veteran federal judge, was a candidate proposed by Trump who the Justice Department did not object to. He holds senior status in the Eastern District of New York and was first appointed by Ronald Reagan.
Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, directed Dearie to issue interim reports and recommendations "as appropriate" during the review, which she ordered to be complete by Nov. 30, closer to the timeline request by the Trump lawyers. The government wanted the review done by mid-October.
The Justice Department had previously stated that they didn't want the special master to have access to classified material, but Cannon has said that request is meritless. But she did say that the court would direct the special master to prioritize the "approximately 100 documents marked as classified."
Cannon also says she's unconvinced with the government's argument that the FBI's criminal investigation into the documents is intertwined with the intelligence community's assessment.
Cannon notes that Trump's team will bear the cost of the professional fees and expenses of the special master and any support staff or expert consultants who are engaged with the process. Trumps team had originally requested the cost be split between them and the government.
The Justice Department has said they will appeal the order for a special master.
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