Trump and DOJ each nominate candidates to serve as special master in reviewing Mar-a-Lago documents

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On Friday, former President Donald Trump and the Justice Department each fielded two candidates to serve as a court-appointed special counsel who would review documents seized from the Mar-a-Lago papers last month.

In a new court filing, the Justice Department nominated Barbara S. Jones, retired U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, and Thomas B. Griffith, retired Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Trump’s legal team nominated Raymond J. Dearie, former Chief Justice of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and Paul Huck Jr., former General Counsel for Florida Governor Charlie Crist , who also served as the state president. Deputy Attorney General.

The list of names comes days after Trump scored a first victory in the courtroom when a federal judge approved his request for a third party to review seized material for potential attorney-client or executive privilege issues. .

That decision by Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon also temporarily stalled parts of the Justice Department’s investigation.

The Department of Justice said in a filing in court Thursday that he will appeal Cannon’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Legal experts have widely criticized Cannon’s decision, saying that enforcing his order would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, while challenging his argument that the special master should review the documents for possible executive privilege claims, instead of limiting the examination to the traditional lawyer. customer issues.

If a special master is appointed by the court, that person will review documents that the Justice Department has declared so sensitive and classified that FBI agents and DOJ attorneys need additional security clearances to review them.

The Justice Department said FBI agents last month found more than 11,000 pages of government documents that, under the Presidential Records Act, were in the custody of the National Archives.

While Trump’s legal team argued that ‘unchecked investigators’ could not be trusted to separate confidential documents, the Justice Department argued that classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago belong to the government and are not Trump’s “personal records”.

Ryan J. Reilly contributed.

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