Trump and Justice Department Submit Special Master Candidates to Review Mar-a-Lago Documents

Friday Night Joint Court Filing It’s the latest legal turn in the Justice Department’s historic criminal investigation into possible mishandling of Trump’s documents, whose term ends in January 2021. 100 classified government records.

U.S. District Court Judge Eileen Cannon earlier this week granted Trump’s request for a special master, a third-party attorney outside the government, telling Justice Department criminal investigators to review materials seized as part of the investigation. ordered to stop using it. A special master finishes the review.

The Justice Department hopes the special masters, along with their candidates, will move relatively quickly, completing the review in five weeks by Oct. 17. Trump suggested 90 days.

Whoever is appointed to that role is instantly thrown into the center of one of the most important criminal investigations in modern American history.

Justice Department Candidates: Griffiths and Jones

The Justice Department has appointed two former federal judges, Thomas Griffiths and Barbara Jones, as special judges.

Appointed by President Bush, Griffiths served on the DC Court of Appeals for the Circuit from 2005 to 2020. In one of his last major judgments before his retirement, he wrote the majority opinion rejecting an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump’s former White House attorney Don McGahn. did. (The decision was later overturned.)

Griffiths later collaborated with other prominent conservative lawyers and officials on a report that debunked Trump’s lies about massive fraud in the 2020 election. And he publicly supported President Joe Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Appointed to the federal court by Bill Clinton, Jones is a former federal prosecutor and former judge for the Southern District of New York from 1995 to 2012.

She was appointed as a special master to examine materials seized during the FBI’s April 2021 raid on Rudy Giuliani’s home and office. She was also a special master in the Michael Her Cohen case, keeping investigators from sweeping the documents. It was the prerogative of lawyers and clients. Giuliani and Cohen were Trump’s attorneys while under investigation by the Justice Department.

Trump Candidates: Huck Jr. and Dearie

Trump’s legal team has named attorney Paul Huck Jr. and Judge Raymond Deary as special counsel.

Huck, who has his own law firm, was a partner at Jones Day Law Firm, which represented the Trump campaign in 2016, and was a contributor to the conservative legal organization Federalist Society.

He previously served as Florida’s Deputy Attorney General and served as General Counsel to former Florida Governor Charlie Christ (then Republican and now Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida). Trump’s current attorney, Chris Kise, also worked for Christo and had overlaps with Huck. They worked together at the Florida Attorney General’s office.

Huck’s wife, Barbara Lagoa, was on Trump’s shortlist for the Supreme Court following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020.

Deary has served as a federal judge in New York since being nominated by former President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He retired in his 2011 and now serves as the circuit’s senior judge.

Deary also served a seven-year term in the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court). He said the judge’s approval of the FBI and Justice Department’s request to monitor Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, as part of a federal investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election. I was alone.

I will leave the details to the judges.

Cannon, a Trump-appointed judge, said she would “quickly” determine the “exact details and mechanics” of the special master process after both sides submitted their proposals. It is not clear whether it will open a statute or simply issue a written order making a decision.

The two sides haven’t reached much agreement throughout the lawsuit, and it’s no surprise that their proposal, filed Friday, spells out vastly different visions of how the Special Masters should conduct their review.

For example, they also disagree on who should pay for the special masters. Trump’s lawyers have suggested that the costs incurred by the special master should be “divided evenly” between him and the US government. The Justice Department told the judge that it believed Trump should pay all costs because it was he who “requested a special master.”

It’s not clear when Canon will decide what happens next.

Individual appeal to Canon and request for continued investigation

Separately, Prosecutor appeals Cannon’s ruling on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals also on Thursday required Cannon to issue an emergency order allowing investigators to temporarily use the seized materials while the appeal is pending. rice field.

The Justice Department also said it must allow intelligence agencies continued access to classified documents as they review materials for national security reasons, easing intelligence agency reviews into criminal investigations. He argues that they cannot be separated. The top federal prosecutor said the intelligence review was temporarily suspended due to Cannon’s ruling undermining national security.

Timeline: The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into Trump for bringing classified documents to Mar-a-Lago.

After another federal judge approved the warrant, an unprecedented investigation was conducted that found it had “probable causes” for several crimes, including possible espionage law violations and obstruction of justice. , recovered over 100 classified documents during the search, including 18 marked as top secret, the highest level of classification.

The investigation revolves around possible mishandling of classified government documents. The U.S. government has said this year that President Trump voluntarily turned over documents in January, issued a grand jury subpoena in June, and through his FBI investigation last month, he has obtained at least 325 classified documents from Mar-a. – Recovered from Lago.

Mr Trump has denied all wrongdoing.

This story has been updated with additional details.


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