Sep 10, 2022 - Politics & Policy

DOJ and Trump's legal team submit special master proposals

Former president Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally to support local candidates on September 03, 2022

Former President Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on Sept. 3 in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Department of Justice and former President Trump's legal team on Friday each filed a list of proposed special master candidates to review the evidence seized from Mar-a-Lago last month.

Why it matters: The joint filing lays out a playbook for how long the process of reviewing materials may take, who may be involved and whether the criminal investigation into Trump's handling of documents will be separate from the intelligence community's review.

Driving the news: The joint filing "exhibited sharply divergent visions for what the arbiter, known as a special master, would do, and put forth different candidates," the New York Times wrote.

  • The DOJ picked Barbara S. Jones, a Clinton appointee to the Southern District of New York, and Thomas B. Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee who retired from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2020.
  • Trump's legal team suggested Raymond Dearie, a Reagan appointee who was once the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York, and Paul Huck Jr., a former deputy attorney general in Florida who also served as general counsel to former Governor Charlie Crist.

The big picture: The filing comes a day after the DOJ appealed Judge Aileen Cannon's ruling that a special master should be appointed "to review the seized property."

  • The DOJ is asking that its review of classified documents be allowed to continue, saying in a motion filed Thursday that "the government and the public are irreparably injured when a criminal investigation of matters involving risks to national security is enjoined."
  • Cannon's order this week temporarily blocked prosecutors "from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes pending completion of the special master’s review or further Court order."
  • The special master will ultimately determine which documents will be kept from prosecutors due to attorney-client privilege or executive privilege, Reuters notes.

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