(NewsNation) — Raymond Dearie, a senior judge in New York, was appointed as the special master tasked with reviewing all of the 11,000 documents taken from President Donald Trump’s home in Florida.
While Trump’s team proposed Dearie as the special master, the Justice Department also agreed to him.
So who is Dearie?
Dearie started as an attorney at a New York private practice in 1969. He then went to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of the state in 1971. While there, Dearie worked as the chief of the appeals division, general crimes section and criminal section.
He then became the executive assistant at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1977, before returning to private practice for three years. After that, Dearie returned to the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office as chief assistant, before serving as the U.S. Attorney for the district from 1982 to 1986.
He was appointed to his federal judgeship in 1986 by former President Ronald Reagan, a Republican.
In 2012, he was appointed to a term on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA, which deals with applications from the U.S. government asking for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes.
As part of Dearie’s work on the FISA court, he approved the FBI and Justice Department’s request to surveil Carter Page, who was the Trump campaign’s foreign policy adviser, in 2017. This was part of its inquiry into potential Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, TIME noted.
The FISA panel did permit the bugging of Page, Time wrote, although two out of four of the warrants were later decided to be invalid after an Inspector General found errors and omissions in the applications to surveil Page after a 2019 review.
Notable cases Dearie’s been a part of include: one where several men were accused of an al-Qaeda plot to carry out suicide bombings on the New York subway system and a trial for a man accused of stealing jewels that belonged to Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, Newsweek wrote.
Currently, he is on “inactive status” as a judge, which NPR says is “just short of formal retirement,” meaning he could return to the bench if needed.
Dearie graduated from Fairfield University in Conneticut with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966, and got his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in New York.
What do people think of him?
Former colleague’s of Dearie’s told TIME that the 78-year-old is a “straight shooter” and “not an ideologue.”
Although he is not known for being fast, his colleagues told TIME, Dearie is deliberate.
Andrew Weissman, a federal prosecutor and former senior member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, told NPR that Dearie is “compassionate” and “fair,” and went on to call him the “platonic ideal of what you want in a judge.”
“If you asked both prosecutors and lawyers, they would say the same thing, that he is just so fair,” Weissmann said to NPR. “It’s unusual to have a judge where both sides just have enormous praise for somebody.”
A law professor who previously worked as a clerk for Dearie said to the BBC that the special master won’t be daunted by the Mar-a-Lago case.
“He has handled major cases and intense media interest,” Steve Gold said.