The newly appointed special master reviewing the records seized by the Justice Department last month from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, wasted no time Friday evening by quickly scheduling a hearing between Mr. Trump’s legal team and lawyers from the Justice Department.
Judge Dearie also requested the lawyers submit proposed agenda items for the meeting by the close of business Monday.
U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, who appointed Judge Dearie, gave him until Nov. 30 to complete his review of the documents for materials that may be covered by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege granted to presidents. Any materials deemed privileged will be off-limits to Justice Department investigators probing whether Mr. Trump illegally mishandled classified government documents.
Judge Cannon also ordered Mr. Trump to pay for the review’s full cost.
Mr. Trump’s legal team last month asked Judge Cannon to appoint a special master to review the records seized in the Aug. 8 raid and return any materials that may be covered by executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.
The Justice Department fought the appointment of a special master, arguing that it had already done its own review and Mr. Trump couldn’t raise executive privilege claims that ordinarily permit a president to withhold information because he was no longer commander-in-chief.
The department is expected to appeal the appointment of a special master to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.
Judge Cannon sided with Mr. Trump and ordered both sides to name a candidate for the role. The Trump team put forth two candidates, including Judge Dearie, while the Justice Department suggested three potential special masters.
Judge Dearie was the only candidate both sides agreed on. He serves on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Brooklyn, where he has taken senior status, meaning he still works, but his caseload is significantly less than other judges.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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