Judge Raymond Dearie Appointed Special Master In Mar-A-Lago Seizure Case

One of the candidates nominated by President Donald Trump to act as special master in the case regarding the documents seized during the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago has been chosen by the federal judge overseeing the case.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued an order appointing retired federal judge Raymond Dearie after her earlier decision that a special master would be appointed and asking Trump and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to suggest candidates for the job.

Judge Cannon also denied a request from the DOJ to lift the temporary restriction against their review of the records seized from the Trump residence while the government appeals her decision to appoint a special master in the case. The appeal has been filed with the federal Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals that sits in Atlanta.

Dearie’s duties will involve reviewing the documents taken by the FBI and sorting out any that are covered by applicable claims of legal privilege. No specific timetable has been established for Dearie to complete his work.

From the highly-redacted documents made public so far, it appears that the DOJ is investigating whether President Trump wrongfully removed documents from the White House and retained them at this Florida home when his term ended. The FBI has told the court that it removed over 11,000 documents from Mar-a-Lago and said that around 100 of them bear classification markings.

Dearie was one of two candidates proposed by Trump’s attorneys. The DOJ likewise suggested two candidates.

Dearie was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan and served as an active judge from 1986 until 2011. When he retired from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, he was the chief judge of that court.

After leaving the New York federal court, he served a seven-year term on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court in Washington, D.C.

As part of the FISA Court, Dearie was involved in the approval of government requests to spy on Carter Page, who was a campaign advisor to President Trump in 2016. The warrant applications submitted by the DOJ in that matter were later found by an Inspector General to contain a series of misstatements and material omissions.

The DOJ suggested in a paper filed with the court on Monday that it would not object to the appointment of Dearie or either of the two former judges they had suggested.