Washington, Sept 13- On Monday, the Justice Department declared that it was prepared to accept one of Donald Trump’s choices as an impartial arbiter to examine the records found during an FBI raid of the former president’s Florida home last month.
The modification may speed up the selection procedure and reduce any delays brought on by the appointment of the’special master’. In response to a request from the Trump campaign, the judge in the case announced last week that she would appoint an impartial arbiter to review the documents and cull out any that might be protected by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.
In a Monday night filing, department lawyers stated that in addition to the two retired judges they had previously nominated, they would also be OK with Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York, who was chosen by the Trump campaign. The department claimed he had stated he was available and “could do the duties swiftly” if appointed. He is currently on senior active status.
Whether US District Judge Aileen Cannon would name Dearie or another person was not immediately obvious. The Trump campaign stated on Monday that it was against both Justice Department picks.
Trump’s attorneys dismissed the former president’s retention of top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago in a 21-page filing on September 12, 2022, as a “storage dispute,” and they urged Cannon to maintain a directive that temporarily halted important aspects of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation. This is when the back and forth over the special master began. The Trump campaign referred to the papers as “purported “classified records,” claiming that the Justice Department had not established that the items recovered by the FBI during its search on August 8, 2022, were or are now classified.
As the Justice Department tries to move on with its criminal investigation into the retention of national security secrets at Mar-a-Lago, the filing highlights the significant factual and legal discrepancies between lawyers for Trump and the US government. The concept that the records, many of which are classified as top-secret, belonged to Trump or that Mar-a-Lago was an appropriate location to hold them has been rejected by department lawyers in their own pleadings.