Judge Appoints Special Master to Review FBI Raid Documents

The FBI recently confiscated records from the Florida estate of previous President Trump.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon of Florida authorized a senior federal judge from Brooklyn to act as a special master to objectively analyze those documents.

Raymond Dearie Appointed as Special Master

As an impartial arbiter in the case, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie will make a determination regarding if any of the recovered files are privileged and ought to be kept secret from federal investigators.

Dearie has “substantial judicial experience” in cases that involve national security and privilege issues, according to the DOJ.

This makes him qualified for the position of special master. However, the DOJ disagreed with Paul Huck, a private attorney who was the other candidate put forward by Trump’s lawyers.

Barbara S. Jones and Thomas B. Griffith, two former federal judges who the DOJ wanted to be the special master, were opposed by Trump’s legal team.

Dearie was nominated to the federal bench in Brooklyn by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1986. From 2007 to 2011, he served as the court’s top judge. He was the US attorney there prior to that. He is now a senior judge who is only partially retired.

Between 2011 and 2019, Dearie sat on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Dearie is responsible for ensuring the property listed in the “Detailed Property Inventory” reflects the “full and exact extent” of the assets confiscated as part of his evaluation of all the seized materials.

This could involve requesting sworn affidavits from DOJ employees, according to court documents.

Dearie is also entrusted with reviewing the documents that were seized for claims of privilege and advising the court on any disagreements between the parties.

He is likewise tasked with identifying personal belongings and records, in addition to presidential papers, and advising the court on any classification disagreements.

In accordance with Rule 41(g) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, he will also assess any requests for the restoration of property made by Trump’s attorneys and perform any other tasks assigned to him by the court.

DOJ Objected to Court’s Designation

The DOJ’s objection to the court designating a special master to analyze records collected by the FBI has drawn criticism from Trump and his attorneys.

In granting Trump’s petition for a special master, Cannon dismissed DOJ claims that the data belonged to the government and Trump could not assert executive privilege because he was no longer in office.

Trump insisted he handled secret materials correctly and did nothing wrong. He asserted time and time again that while in office, he had a declassification order in place for any documents transported from the White House to Mar-a-Lago.

As he considers running for president once more in 2024, the former Republican president claims the FBI is persecuting him for political purposes.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.