Special Master Appointed To Review Documents Seized At Mar-A-Lago

By Bill Galluccio

September 16, 2022

Photo: Justice Department

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has selected Raymond J. Dearie, a senior U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York, as the special master who will review the documents seized by the FBI during a raid of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

"The Court does not find it appropriate to accept the Government's conclusions on these important and disputed issues without further review by a neutral third party in an expedited and orderly fashion," Cannon wrote.

Dearie will now be tasked with reviewing over 11,000 documents that were removed from Mar-a-Lago. Cannon said that Dearie has until November 30 to finish his review of the documents to determine if any of them were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Cannon also ruled against the Department of Justice, denying a request to continue accessing the documents as part of the criminal investigation into whether Trump improperly removed classified documents from the White House when he left.

"First, there has been no actual suggestion by the Government of any identifiable emergency or imminent disclosure of classified information arising from Plaintiff's allegedly unlawful retention of the seized property. Instead, and unfortunately, the unwarranted disclosures that float in the background have been leaks to the media after the underlying seizure," she wrote.

The Justice Department is expected to appeal the decision, and the case could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

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