A veteran New York judge has been appointed to independently review the classified records seized from Donald Trump’s Florida resort last month and arbitrate the federal investigation into the former president.
Hon. Raymond Dearie was announced as special master in the case by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, court documents showed. Dearie was one of two possible third-party legal experts suggested to Cannon by Trump’s team. He was chosen after the Department of Justice agreed he was an acceptable candidate.
Dearie, 78, a Rockville Centre, New York native, had served as the top judge of Brooklyn’s federal court from 1986 to 2011, before taking on a reduced caseload and serving as a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge, according to his official biography.
He will now be responsible for reviewing the trove of files the FBI snatched from Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 and separating any personal materials or documents that could be subject to claims of attorney-client or executive privilege. Dearie had until Nov. 30 to complete his classifications and review — six weeks longer than the feds had requested, the order said.
Dearie’s appointment marked a second early legal win for the Trump team, which had successfully appealed to the court to implement the third-party arbitrator over concerns the government would “impugn, leak and publicize” details of the investigation.
The DOJ argued a special master was not needed and said Trump had no right to exercise executive privilege claims. Its investigation has been on hold since Sept. 5, when Cannon — a Trump appointee — granted him the special master.
The feds seized some 11,000 documents from Trump’s resort and recovered more than 300 other classified documents that were in his possession after he left office, according to prosecutors.
The potential 2024 presidential candidate is under investigation for obstruction of justice and potential violation of the Espionage Act, unsealed federal documents showed.