Raymond Dearie serves as special master of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago raid

U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie will be specifically tasked with reviewing documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

Dearie – the only candidate for the role that both the Justice Department and former US President Donald Trump’s legal team have agreed to – was tapped by US District Judge Aileen Cannon for the position on Thursday. .

Here’s what you need to know about Dearie and his role in the investigation.


Dearie, a Reagan candidate, has served as a federal judge in New York since 1986. He retired in 2011 and is now a senior district judge.

He also served a seven-year term on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.

Dearie was one of the judges who approved requests by the FBI and DOJ to survey Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, as part of a federal investigation into whether Russia had interfere in the 2016 election.

According to the DOJ inspector general’s report, the process federal investigators use to secure FISA subpoenas is riddled with errors and general negligence. Two of the four surveillance orders issued by the secretive FISA court regarding Page were declared invalid – including one approved by Dearie in June 2017 – because of omissions and errors in filing. filed in an FBI court.

The Trump team’s nomination of Dearie is notable because Trump has repeatedly criticized the FISA surveillance and claimed – without evidence – that it was part of a “deep state” plot to sabotage the campaign. your.


A special counsel is a third-party attorney appointed by the court to oversee part of a certain case.

Dearie will specifically oversee the Justice Department’s review of evidence gathered from Trump’s Florida residence and resort and filter out privileged documents that may have been seized during the search.

However, Trump and the Justice Department disagreed on other important aspects of the special review, including how long it should take, who is responsible for paying, and what types of documents must be reviewed.


Cannon is giving Dearie a November 30 deadline to complete its review of potentially privileged documents.

The DOJ has managed to get the process to end in October, while Trump’s team says it prefers 90 days.

Cannon’s schedule means the review will end after the midterm congressional elections, essentially guaranteeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation will progress slowly over the next two months, unless a court higher levels are involved.

She directed Dearie to prioritize sorting through privileged classified records.


Trump’s legal team has widely argued that a special master is needed to ensure the Justice Department returns any of his personal documents seized during the Mar-a search- Lagos.

Lawyers for the former US President say his constitutional rights have been violated and there may have been privileged documents confiscated.

But in the court filing, Trump did not elaborate on exactly what he hoped a particular population would filter out, aside from general allusions to “privileged and potentially specialised materials.” permission.”

In addition to Dearie, Trump’s legal team has offered attorney Paul Huck Jr., a former associate at the law firm Jones Day, as a special master’s degree — a proposal the DOJ disagrees with, noting that he “seems to be” as having no similar experience” with Dearie and the two retired federal judges the department put forward.


In light of Dearie’s choice, the Justice Department recommended retired federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith potentially serve in the role.

Prosecutors wrote of Jones, Griffith and Dearie: “Each has substantial judicial experience in which they have presided over federal civil and criminal cases, including related federal cases. to national security and privileged concerns”.

However, Dearie was the only candidate that both factions agreed could serve as the special master.

The Justice Department has argued that a master’s in particular should not touch any document with a classification mark and that the review should not include any executive privilege considerations.

The agency challenged the need for a special expert in court before Cannon sided with Trump. In the legal filing, the DOJ said it had identified “a limited set of documents” from a search of documents obtained from Mar-a-Lago that likely contained material in the attorney’s rights- client and it was privileged handling. dispute.

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