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Home POLITICS Findings from Trump and DOJ Mar-a-Lago special main court filing

Findings from Trump and DOJ Mar-a-Lago special main court filing

The new filing revealed the names of the former judges and a lawyer that the respective parties proposed to serve as special master: the third-party attorney reviewing the documents. The candidates bring interesting experience to the table: One co-wrote a report debunking Trump’s 2020 election lies and another was involved in the controversial surveillance of a Trump campaign aide in 2016.

Fight for executive privilege

Trump’s team is requesting a broad independent review, to filter out documents that are attorney-client privilege or fall under executive privilege.

Federal prosecutors don’t want the executive privilege review to happen, and they don’t want the special master to even see any of the more than 100 classified records that were seized from Mar-a-Lago.

Prosecutors also say the special master must “submit to NARA,” the National Archives and Records Administration, any document that Trump claims is covered by executive privilege, and consult with the agency “on the determination of presidential records.” . (NARA previously rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege over materials, including classified documents, that he ultimately voluntarily turned over in January.)

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers want the special master to review “all seized materials,” including classified records.

They also want the special master to “evaluate potential executive privilege claims” in the documents. And they said there is no reason why the special master “should or need” to consult with NARA about anything.

Department of Justice Special Master Nominees

Thomas Griffith served on the prestigious DC Circuit Court of Appeals from 2005 to 2020. In one of his last major rulings before retirement, he wrote the majority opinion rejecting House Democrats’ attempt to subpoena the former House counsel Trump White House, Don McGahn. (The decision was later reversed.)

Since retiring, Griffith has co-authored a report with other leading conservative attorneys and officials debunking Trump’s lies about massive fraud in the 2020 election. He also publicly endorsed President Joe Biden’s nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.

Barbara Jones, former federal prosecutor and retired judge who has been a special master in several recent high-profile investigations.

She was a special teacher to examine materials seized during an FBI raid on Rudy Giuliani’s home and office in April 2021. She was also a special teacher on the Michael Cohen case, to make sure investigators didn’t pick up any documents that were attorney-client. privileged.

From the Trump team

Paul Huck Jr., who now has his own law firm, had been a partner at the Jones Day law firm, which represented the Trump campaign in 2016.

Huck also previously served as Florida’s Assistant Attorney General and General Counsel to the former Governor of Florida. Charlie Crist, then a Republican and now a Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida.

However, there is a potential complication: Chris Kise, Trump’s current attorney, also worked for Crist and coincided with Huck.

Raymond Dearie has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. He retired in 2011 and is now chief circuit judge.

Dearie also served a seven-year term on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court. He was one of the judges who approved a request by the FBI and the DOJ to surveil Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, as part of the federal investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

How long will this review last?

There are plenty of Mar-a-Lago documents to review, and the Trump team is in no rush. They proposed that the special teacher have 90 days to complete his work.

The Justice Department wants to move faster and proposes that the review end on October 17.

Trump has historically not hesitated to exhaust his legal options, and we could end up seeing appeals all the way to the Supreme Court. The Justice Department has already appealed Cannon’s original ruling requiring the special master.

Who gets the bill?

Someone has to pay for the special teacher’s time and resources, and no one offers to pay the entire check.

Justice Department lawyers told Cannon they believe Trump should pay for everything because he is the one “requesting the special master.”

Trump’s lawyers propose that the costs incurred by the Mar-a-Lago special master be “split equally” between him and the US government.

The Trump team indirectly raises the possibility that the documents have been declassified

Trump’s team said the Justice Department “wrongly assumes” that documents are classified forever if they have classification marks.

More than 100 documents with classification marks were seized from Mar-a-Lago during the FBI search in early August.

“His position wrongly assumes that if a document has a classification mark, it remains classified in perpetuity,” the document says, explaining Trump’s position on the matter.

His comment raises the specter that some of the materials seized at Mar-a-Lago may have been declassified, even though the documents have classification marks on them.

Trump and his allies have publicly claimed that he issued a blanket order to declassify many of the materials in question. CNN previously reported that 18 former Trump officials believe the claim is false, and Trump’s attorneys have not made this claim in court, where there are legal consequences for lying.

Whats Next?

Cannon has some tough decisions to make, with the entire country watching.

In his original Labor Day ruling, he indicated that he would act quickly, but there is no official deadline at this time.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department is appealing its original ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. At the same time, the Justice Department asked Cannon to review its ruling and allow it to continue analyzing the seized documents. for purposes of criminal investigation and intelligence review. Cannon has asked Trump to respond by Monday at 10 a.m. ET.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz, Laura Smitherman, Kara Scannell, Evan Perez and Shawna Mizelle contributed to this report.


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