U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie will serve as the special master tasked with examining the Mar-a-Lago seized documents.
Dearie – the only candidate for the role agreed upon by the Justice Department and former President Donald Trump’s legal team – was sworn in by US District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday.
Here’s what you need to know about Dearie and her role in the investigation.
Dearie, a Reagan nominee, has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. He retired in 2011 and is now the Chief District Judge.
He also served a seven-year term on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.
Dearie Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, was one of the judges who accepted the request from the FBI and DOJ as part of the federal investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
The process federal investigators used to secure FISA warrants was riddled with errors and sloppiness, according to a DOJ inspector general report. Two of the four surveillance warrants issued by the secret FISA court for Page have since been invalidated — including one approved by Dearie in June 2017 — because of omissions and errors in the FBI’s submissions to the judge.
The Trump team’s nomination of Dearie is notable because Trump has repeatedly criticized FISA surveillance and said, without evidence, that she was part of a “deep state” conspiracy to undermine his campaign.
A special master is a third-party attorney appointed by a court to oversee a portion of a particular case.
Dearie will specifically oversee the Justice Department’s review of evidence collected from Trump’s Florida residence and resorts and filter out privileged material that might be uncovered in the search.
Trump and the Justice Department, however, disagree on other key aspects of the special master review, including how long it would take, who is responsible for paying for it and what types of documents they are able to review.
Cannon gives Dearie until Nov. 30 to complete his review of potentially privileged documents.
The DOJ sought to end the process in October, while Trump’s team said it preferred 90 days.
Cannon’s schedule means the review will be completed after the midterm congressional elections, essentially ensuring that the Mar-a-Lago investigation will move slowly over the next two months unless a Supreme Court intervenes.
He directed Dearie to sort through the classified records that he might have priority.
Trump’s legal team has disclosed that a special master is needed to ensure the Justice Department returns private documents seized in the Mar-a-Lago search.
The former president’s lawyer said his constitutional rights were violated, and that privileged materials may have been seized.
But in court filings, Trump has not detailed what he expected a special master to filter out, other than general references to “privileged and potentially privileged materials.”
Beyond Dearie, Trump’s legal team includes Paul Huck Jr. attorney, a former partner at the Jones Day law firm, was suggested as a special master — a proposal the DOJ disagreed with, stating that Dearie and the two “do not appear to have similar experience.” retired federal judge placed the department.
Before Dearie was selected, the Justice Department nominated retired federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith for the role.
“Each has extensive judicial experience, having presided over federal criminal and civil cases, including federal national security and privilege cases,” prosecutors wrote of Jones, Griffith and Dearie.
Dearie, however, was the only candidate both camps agreed could serve as special master.
The Justice Department has argued that a special master should not touch documents with classification marks and that the review should not involve an account of executive privilege.
The agency challenged the need for a special master in court before Cannon sided with Trump. In legal filings, the DOJ said it had identified a “limited set of materials” from its search of documents taken from Mar-a-Lago that may contain material covered by attorney-client privilege and was already in the process of addressing the privilege. conflicts
This headline and story has been updated with Dearie selected as a special master.