US Justice Department approves Trump’s nominee for arbiter
Both the Trump team and DOJ submitted two names for the special master position. The DOJ concession could help speed the selection process after Trump rejected both its nominees.
On Monday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed to accept one of Donald Trump’s nominees as the special master to oversee the documents recovered from Trump’s Florida home last month.
Trump-appointed federal judge Aileen Cannon agreed last week to Trump’s request to appoint an independent reviewer to overlook the hundreds of classified documents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago resort during an FBI raid on August 8.
The Trump administration has proposed Raymond Dearie, the former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, as a neutral arbiter.
Both the Trump team and the DOJ submitted two names to Judge Cannon on Friday.
The DOJ concession could help speed the selection process after Trump rejected both retired judges nominated for special master by the government on Monday.
The Department of Justice rejected Trump’s other nominee, citing a lack of federal judicial experience and involvement in relevant areas of law.
It is unclear whether Judge Cannon will name Dearie or someone else.
DOJ investigation stymied
The Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated any laws by bringing classified documents back to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House.
It claims that top-secret documents were hidden during an FBI raid.
Trump has called the raid on his Florida property “one of the most egregious assaults on democracy in our country’s history.”
He vigorously denies any wrongdoing.
The arbiter would be tasked with screening the recovered documents and determining whether any would be covered by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege claims.
The Justice Department questions Trump’s authority to keep the presidential documents.
Meanwhile, the DOJ’s investigation has come to an end because Cannon has prohibited the department from examining the documents for investigative purposes for the time being.
The Justice Department has asked the judge to lift the legal hold, stating that it will file an appeal with a federal appeals court.