Sep 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

What we know about Trump, DOJ's candidates for Mar-a-Lago special master

President Donald Trump reacts during a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Former President Trump reacts during a rally in Pennsylvania. Photo: Michelle Gustafson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Both former President Trump and the Department of Justice proposed four individuals who could serve as the special master in the review of the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago by the FBI in August.

The big picture: With their candidates, Trump and the DOJ have staked out different positions on the scope of the special master's potential review.

Details: Trump and the DOJ each proposed two candidates for the position after Judge Aileen Cannon's ruling this week.

  • Trump's team wants the special master to consider all the classified documents and keep executive privilege in mind when conducting their review, the Washington Post reports.
  • The DOJ said the special master should not review all the 100-plus classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, per the Washington Post.
  • The DOJ doesn't want the special master's review to consider if documents should be covered by executive privilege because that "cannot be claimed by a former president — or from one part of the executive branch to another," according to WaPo.

The DOJ's special master candidates

Barbara S. Jones — a retired judge who was nominated by former President Clinton.

  • Jones previously served in the Southern District of New York, per NPR.
  • She previously worked on similar special master cases for Trump allies Michael Cohen in 2017 and Rudy Giuliani in 2021, according to the New York Times.
  • Jones currently works at Bracewell LLP, where she focuses on investigations and mediations.

Thomas B. Griffith — a retired appeals judge who was nominated by former President George W. Bush.

  • He previously worked in the federal district court in Washington, D.C., according to NPR.
  • Griffith currently works at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.
  • He authored opinions on administrative and congressional investigation cases.

Trump's special master candidates

Raymond J. Dearie — a former federal judge picked by former President Reagan.

Paul Huck Jr. — former general counsel to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. He served as Florida's deputy attorney journey.

What's next: Both sides will respond to either candidate Monday, per NBC News.

Go deeper: DOJ and Trump's legal team submit special master proposals

Go deeper