Lawyers for former President Donald Trump are disappointed with the special master appointed to investigate classified government documents that were recently discovered and removed from Mar-a-Lago.
Last week Raymond Dearie a former chief judgeThe Eastern District of New York Federal Court Aileen Court Cannon, Florida Judge, appointed him as special master.. Trump had asked for a special master in order to determine whether privilege violations occurred when FBI retrieved thousands upon thousands of government documents from Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida home.
Dearie was one among two nominees picked by Trump’s team of lawyers to fill the position. Although the Department of Justice (DOJ), was opposed to the appointment of a special master, DOJ lawyers stated that they were open to Dearie’s selection, and Cannon appointed him to the position.
Now, it turns out, it appears Trump’s lawyers may be having regrets about their special master pick.
In a court filing on Monday night, Trump’s lawyers responded to a “draft management plan” written by Dearie. The plan asked Trump’s lawyers to provide details about documents that the former president has publicly claimed were declassified. Trump claimed the documents were his prior property.
The lawyers for Trump’s ex-president declined to respond to the request in the filing. They explained that it could affect his future defense should he be indicted later for mishandling the government documents.
“[T]he Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order,” Trump’s lawyers said in their brief.
Trump’s counsel alleged that there’s a “time and place” for disclosing “specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government.”
The former president’s legal team also took issue with Dearie’s proposed timeline for completing the assessment of the documents and their privilege claims. Though he has until the end of November to complete it, Dearie’s plan suggests he could complete the process by October 7.
“We respectfully suggest that all of the deadlines can be extended to allow for a more realistic and complete assessment of the areas of disagreement,” the lawyers said.
Notably, the delay Trump’s lawyers want would push Dearie’s work past the midterm elections. The DOJ doesn’t appear to oppose most of the special master’s action plan.
On August 22, Trump demanded a special master look into claims of privilege he was making regarding 11,000 government documents — including more than 100 that were marked classified — These photos were taken in Mar-a-Lago last Month. After Dearie was appointed by Cannon to the position, CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said that Trump’s lawyers decision was peculiar. Callan predicted Dearie would handle the case in a way not to Trump’s liking.
“[Dearie]FISA judge [and he] has been involved in some rulings that were adverse to Trump in prior investigations,” Callan noted.
Dearie “knows a lot about executive privilege, he knows about national security issues, he’s familiar with the documents, he has the clearance required or can certainly have it updated quickly, and he has a reputation as a solid judge,” Cynthia Alksne, a former federal prosecutor, said on MSNBC on Friday.
After Trump’s lawyers filed their Monday night legal brief, Renato Mariotti, another former federal prosecutor, said it was clear that Trump regrets picking Dearie.
“I’ve seen enough: Trump’s team miscalculated by asking for Judge Dearie to serve as Special Master,” Mariotti said on Twitter.