Special Master Appointed in Mar-a-Lago Case
This case has the potential to divide the nation even further and lead to a new level of anger and unrest.
From CNN. A Brooklyn-based federal judge was selected on Thursday to serve as an independent arbiter to review the materials seized in the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.
The special master will be Senior Judge Raymond Dearie, who was put forward as a possible candidate for the special master role by Trump, who had sued in court to obtain the review. The Justice Department also endorsed Dearie’s appointment.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon also rejected the Justice Department’s bid to resume its criminal investigation into classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago last month. The denial sets the stage for the department’s dispute with Trump over the search to move quickly to an appeals court and potentially the US Supreme Court.
An intelligence community review of the documents has been paused since last week when Cannon ordered the criminal investigation to stop for the moment. DOJ says the two reviews cannot be separated and plans to appeal.
The denial of the government’s request was the latest example of Cannon, nominated by Trump in 2020, showing extreme skepticism to the Justice Department’s handling of records it says should be in the government’s hands because they own them.
Cannon gave the special master a deadline of November 30 to finish his review of potentially privileged documents.
The schedule delays the review’s ending until after the midterm congressional elections — essentially guaranteeing the Mar-a-Lago investigation will move slowly for the next two months, unless a higher court steps in. The appeals process could mean the fight over the documents goes on into the 2024 presidential election cycle. …
Cannon not convinced pausing criminal probe put national security at risk
Cannon on Thursday also rejected several other requests the Justice Department made about how the special master review should proceed. She shoved off the Justice Department’s argument about the national security risks that would come with pausing the criminal investigation into the classified documents — in a break with how judges usually view such claims by the government.
However, she also seemed to create a vague and undefined loophole for the Justice Department to take some steps in the criminal investigation if those steps were necessary and inextricable from the assessment that the intelligence community on the national security risks around disclosure of the documents.
That possible wiggle room aside, her order — if left intact by higher courts — stands to slow down the criminal investigation by at least several weeks.
In her ruling, Cannon said she was unconvinced that pausing the criminal investigation’s review of the documents would cause irreparable harm. …
Steps laid out for special master review
Denying a DOJ request that the special master view conclude by mid-October, Cannon set a November 30 deadline for the process — putting it on timeline closer to the 90 days the Trump team proposed be given to the review.
Cannon is also allowing Trump’s lawyers to review — in a highly controlled setting — the documents marked as classified. The Justice Department had wanted those documents excluded from the special master process entirely. In another rebuff to DOJ, the judge is also instructing the special master to review all of the documents that were seized,.
The judge however sided with the DOJ in how the special master is compensated, ordering that Trump pay the costs, rather than split it 50-50 with Justice Department, as Trump had proposed. …
How are you praying for Trump, for the special master, and over this case as a whole? Share your thoughts and prayers below.
(Excerpt from CNN. Photo Credit: Getty Images)
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