DoJ agrees on 'special master' nominee for Trump's raid case
After Trump's team suggested a name as an independent reviewer for the Mar-a-Lago probe, federal judge Aileen Cannon accepts the appointment despite the DoJ's disagreement on the matter.
Despite rejection from the department, federal judge Aileen Cannon agreed last week on Trump's request to name an independent reviewer or a "special master" for the case to look over the hundreds of classified documents taken from his Mar-a-Lago resort in an FBI raid on August 8.
Trump's legal team and the Justice Department each submitted to Judge Cannon the names of two candidates for the role of the "special master", but Trump rejected both of the government's nominations in a court filing on Monday, as the department originally suggested retired federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith.
Trump's legal team did not justify why they rejected them, but said, "It is more respectful to the candidates from either party to withhold the bases for opposition from a public, and likely to be widely circulated, pleading."
That same day, the department said in its own court filing that it would agree to appoint Trump's nomination of Judge Raymond Dearie, from the Eastern District of New York, in addition to its own nominees, adding that they would accept any of the three nominees due to their "previous federal judicial experience and engagement in relevant areas of law."
Government attorneys previously opposed Trump's "special master" request entirely, arguing that an independent screening for sensitive material could pose a risk to national security and was also unnecessary as a team had already completed a screening.
It is now up to Cannon to choose whether to appoint 78-year-old Dearie to the case.
An "assault" on democracy
The Mar-a-Lago raid stirred national and global inquiry as the Justice Department searched the residence for top-secret documents "likely concealed" to obstruct an FBI probe into Trump's mishandling of classified materials, but the ex-President denied the claims, saying the raid was "one of the most egregious assaults on democracy in the history of our country."
The raid led to Trump facing a criminal investigation over potential violations of the Espionage Act and additional statutes relating to obstruction of justice, as well as the destruction of federal government records, according to the search warrant executed by FBI agents at the former President's home.
On his infamous Truth Social app, Trump expressed, "Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see."
The Mar-a-Lago investigation is just one case on Trump's legal list as he faces investigations in New York into his business practices, as well as a probe over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and for January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters.
And the list goes on… #Trump pic.twitter.com/1NdUthK3Dd— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) August 11, 2022
If federal law enforcement authorities fail to convict him on felony charges for Mar-a-Lago, Trump's position in the upcoming 2024 presidential elections is only strengthened.