U.S. District Court Raymond Dearie was appointed by a federal judge on Thursday to act as an impartial arbiter or special master charged with examining the records collected by the FBI during its search of former President Donald Trump’s South Florida property.
Dearie was put up for the position by Trump last Friday, and Justice Department attorneys informed the court Monday night that they did not object to his nomination.
In his capacity as special master, Dearie will be in charge of checking the papers and materials seized by the FBI during its search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8 for any that would be possibly susceptible to claims of attorney-client or executive privilege.
Dearie, 78, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the federal court in 1986. From 2007 to 2011, he presided as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. In 2011, he was granted senior status, a kind of semi-retirement that enables judges to have a light workload.
Dearie was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012 after ceasing to be in the military for a seven-year tenure.
The secretly convened court deliberates warrant requests submitted by the US government for authorization of electronic monitoring and other investigative operations.
The Justice Department and Trump’s legal team presented four candidates, and Dearie was chosen as the special master. Attorneys representing the former president, retired federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith, said on Monday that they disapproved of both candidates.
Paul Huck, a former general counsel to Florida Governor Charlie Crist, was one of Trump’s two choices, but the Justice Department objected, noting Huck’s lack of prior judicial experience preside over federal cases, notably those involving national security and privilege issues.
Federal prosecutors said in their Monday filing that Dearie is ready to act as the third-party reviewer and could “complete the task swiftly” as the candidate offered by Trump who is suited to them.
Last week, Cannon approved the special master’s appointment, allowing Trump’s request for the appointment of a third party to search the files the FBI had confiscated for anything that would be regarded as private.
Until the special master’s review, she also directed federal agents looking into how Trump handled confidential government data to cease utilising any of the materials in their criminal probe.
Last Monday, the Justice Department informed the federal court in South Florida of its intention to challenge Cannon’s judgement.
The government has been ordered to temporarily halt utilising and studying the papers that have been seized, and this has led to a separate debate between the Justice Department and Trump’s attorneys.
Federal prosecutors argued that the government and general public would suffer if the materials could not be reviewed and used in their criminal investigation in their request to Cannon last week to partially lift her order to permit investigators to continue reviewing a batch of roughly 100 records marked “confidential,” “secret,” or “top secret.”
But Trump’s lawyers disagree with the Justice Department’s request and requested Cannon to keep forbidding the FBI from utilising private information in its ongoing probe in a brief on Monday. They asserted that certain documents with classification marks may no longer be classified.