DOJ agrees to 1 of Trump’s proposed special master candidates

Politics

(NewsNation) — Trump lawyers and the DOJ responded to each other’s special master nominations Monday.

The Justice Department agreed to one of Trump’s proposed special master candidates Raymond J. Dearie, according to court documents.

“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. 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.”

DOJ court documents

Former President Donald Trump‘s lawyers also filed their response to the Justice Department’s request to stay the order for a special master. Trump’s lawyers have claimed the government won’t be harmed by a special master reviewing the documents or by holding off any criminal investigation while the review is taking place. 

In a new filing on Monday, Trump’s lawyers objected to two of the candidates the Justice Department proposed for the special master role, claiming they have reason to believe they would not be a good fit. Attorneys for the former president said they would rather tell a judge those reasons privately and not publicly.

“Given the significance of this investigation, the Court recognizes, as does President Trump, that it must be conducted in the public view. The Court has correctly directed commencement of a process which certainly benefits the Government, President Trump and the people of the United States. The plaintiff respectfully submits any stay of the injunction or limitation on the scope of review only erodes public trust and the perception of fairness,” Trump’s lawyers told NewsNation.

Monday was the deadline for the former president’s attorneys to respond to the filing by the Justice Department, which asked a judge to lift the block on the Mar-a-Lago document probe.

The DOJ argued that the prohibition — keeping them from using documents taken from Trump’s home, until the special master vets it — poses a threat to national security.

The nominees included a woman who served as special master in 2018 to review documents from former President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.

Each side presented two nominees.

The Trump legal team’s list included Raymond Dearie, a retired federal judge nominated by President Ronald Reagan, and Paul Huck Jr., a former Florida deputy attorney general.

The DOJ nominated former federal judge Thomas Griffith and former U.S. district judge Barbara Jones, who served as special master back in 2018, identifying documents protected under privilege between Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen.

The special master will be tasked with going through all the documents seized during the Mar-a-Lago raid and would need to identify any that could be protected under attorney-client or executive privilege.

The DOJ said it planned to appeal, saying a special master remains unnecessary, and the ruling saying the department can’t use the seized documents in its investigation as a special master reviews them brings up national security concerns since it will lead to delays in the investigation.

If the court does not grant the stay by next Thursday, the DOJ said it will file a motion with the appeals court.

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