New York Judge Raymond Dearie appointed as special master in Trump Mar-a-Lago case

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A former veteran chief federal judge from Brooklyn, New York has been appointed as the special master to review documents seized at former President Trump‘s Florida estate in Mar-a-Lago.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointed Raymond Dearie after Trump requested an independent review of thousands of documents marked classified that were recovered by law enforcement. 

Cannon, a Trump appointee, also refused a Justice Department request to lift her temporary prohibition on the department’s use of the roughly 100 classified records that were taken during the Aug. 8 search.

The Justice Department is expected to contest the judge’s order to a federal appeals court. It had given Cannon until Thursday to put on hold her order barring the continued review of classified records, and said it would ask the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene if she did not do so then.


Dearie will be tasked with reviewing and segregating out any documents covered by claims of privilege. It is not clear how long the review will take. The special master process has already delayed the investigation, with Cannon directing the Justice Department to temporarily pause core aspects of its probe.

The Justice Department is investigating the hoarding of top-secret materials and other classified documents at the Florida property after Trump left office. The FBI says it recovered more than 11,000 documents from the home during its search, including roughly 100 with classification markings.

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. On Thursday, a federal judge appointed a special master to review the documents. 
(Department of Justice via AP)


Dearie, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1986, also served as the top federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York in the 1970s.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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