The Justice Department said in court papers on Monday evening that it supports one of former President Donald Trump’s proposed candidates for special master, Raymond Dearie, the former Chief Judge of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York.
On Friday, Trump’s attorneys proposed Dearie and Paul Huck Jr., a prominent Florida lawyer, as potential candidates to be special master.
The Justice Department said it supports the appointment of Dearie or either of the two candidates it proposed, but opposed Huck Jr. because he “does not appear to have similar experience” in presiding over federal criminal and civil cases.
Trump’s attorneys opposed both of the Justice Department’s picks – Barbara Jones, who served on the federal bench in Manhattan, and Thomas Griffith, a former federal appeals court jurist in the District of Columbia.
U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon still has to formally appoint Dearie to the role.
Trump’s attorneys want the special master to review everything that the FBI seized from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home, including records with classification markings, and remove any that may be protected by executive privilege.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, does not believe that the special master should be able to inspect classified records or review documents for potential executive privilege.
Judge Cannon said last week that the special master will be responsible for reviewing property seized from Mar-a-Lago for “personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.”
Dearie, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1986, also served as the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York in the 1970s.