Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the FBI over the Mar-a-Lago search has moved from South Florida to New York City, where a court-appointed “special master” on Tuesday said he there’s a very simple test to see if he’s on the side of the Department of Justice.
Special Master, Raymond J. Dearie, said on Tuesday that if Trump’s lawyers did not formally contest whether the documents the former president obtained were classified, then Dearie would take sides. DOJ.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it,” he said.
Dearie, a retired federal judge in Brooklyn who is acting as an interim arbitrator, wants to speed up the process and get federal agents back on track. And while Trump alleges on social media that he has declassified files he has scanned from the White House, Dearie is asking Trump to shut up or shut up. The senior judge is asking Trump’s team to confirm – in affidavit that lies could mean jail time – whether Trump actually declassified them.
Dearie said there would be no “rush”, but noted that time is of the essence.
Dearie also warned Trump’s lawyers not to appear timid simply to avoid making mistakes and over-sharing potentially damaging information.
“This is not a criminal case. It is the responsibility of the plaintiff to establish his or her right of relief,” he said.
When Trump’s attorney James M. Trusty argued that his team “shouldn’t be in a position where we have to disclose… declassification protections,” Dearie doesn’t have any of that.
“You can’t have cake and eat it,” Dearie retorted.
Dearie was tasked with reviewing the seized documents and analyzing what documents could continue to be used by the Justice Department to build the case against the former president for putting the nation in danger by how to keep more than 100 classified documents at his Palm Beach club long after he left. office.
The FBI investigation — a delicate move that could lead to criminal charges against a former president for the first time in U.S. history — has stalled after a strange intervention by a federal judge. states appointed by Trump himself. When Trump sued the US government he once led, US Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida earlier this month answered his plea and, in an opinion widely criticized for fitness wisdom, gave Trump exactly what he wanted.
Trump, waving his expired proofs, demanded the return of documents he claimed were protected by the president’s “executive privilege” or by traditional “attorney-client privilege”. keep legal correspondence confidential. To that end, his lawyers requested special treatment and appointed an arbitrator to act as arbitrator over the handling of hundreds of government records and some of Trump’s personal belongings. Cannon freezes the investigation and calls for the appointment of a “special master” who responds directly to her.
Trump’s legal team has put forward two candidates: Paul Huck Jr., a Florida attorney with an obvious conflict of interest because he’s married to a conservative federal appeals judge who could overseeing appeals in this case and Dearie, a respected federal judge who approved the FBI’s surveillance of Trump associate Carter Page. The Department of Justice offered the two of their own but agreed to go with Dearie.
The senior Brooklyn judge, once appointed by former President Ronald Reagan as Brooklyn’s top federal prosecutor, will begin sifting through a huge mountain of evidence. The Justice Department said it has 11,000 documents in question.
Cannon’s order stipulates that Dearie must distinguish between Trump’s “personal belongings,” official presidential records that may be subject to “executive privilege” despite his resignation, and classified documents. Dearie also had to verify that the FBI’s “detailed inventory” of things it seized at Mar-a-Lago was indeed accurate. He will hear from both sides, make an independent assessment, then submit his recommendations in reports to Cannon in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Dearie was given full discretion, as he could seek answers from the government agency that started it all: the National Archives and Records Administration. Historians there, tasked with building accurate records of each presidency, were alarmed last year when they discovered that the Trump administration had simply refused to make the transition. some documents on the way out. Then came months of negotiations, an awkward visit to Mar-a-Lago to pick up boxes that should never have been there, and finally a referral to the FBI when Trump’s attorneys stopped. Answer the questions.
The DOJ began an investigation, established a grand jury in the nation’s capital, and subpoenaed the classified records. Even the head of counterintelligence was involved, traveling south in May to see for himself. What he and the FBI agents visited added to their interest, leading to the FBI raid in August.
Dearie’s assessment is limited to the FBI’s search, though anything he identifies could have a lasting impact on the investigation — and possibly lead Trump to admit to the crime.
On Monday night, Trump attorney James Trusty wrote to Dearie warning that his requests for additional details went beyond Cannon’s order and would force Team Trump to “complete and specific disclosures.” defense against any subsequent indictment.”
Dearie also showed he wants to speed things up. Although Cannon asked Dearie to complete its review by November 30, court filings reveal that Dearie actually wanted all records labeled and ready for review by October 7. That means we should see action — and potentially harmful conclusions — before Election Day this year.
Making this even more painful, Trump was ordered to pay Dearie in the meantime.
This legal battle is really going on on two fronts, with coalitions and Trump beating it in Brooklyn while the entire Cannon special master deal is being appealed at the Eleventh Circuit off Atlanta, Georgia.
The DOJ appealed her decision on September 9. At noon on Tuesday, shortly before the special master hearing in Brooklyn, Trump’s attorneys told the appeals court in an submit that the entire case was nothing but “a dispute over document storage that has spiraled out of control.”
They wrote: “The government seeks to criminalize the wrongful possession of personal and presidential records of the 45th president.
That means judges in Florida, Georgia and New York — and perhaps at some point even the Supreme Court in Washington — will weigh in on who, exactly, owns the filings. this White House profile and document.