Tuesday, September 27

Who are the four people Trump and the DOJ have proposed for special master?


Former President Trump and the Justice Department (DOJ) have submitted a total of four candidates to be potentially appointed as special master in charge of reviewing the documents the FBI took at Mar-a-Lago last month. 

The submissions came after a federal judge granted Trump’s request on Monday to have a special master review the materials that the FBI obtained to see if any are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege. 

The DOJ also filed an appeal on Thursday to request that the special master not review the more than 100 classified documents that the FBI took, arguing that a pause in its review of those materials could cause “irreparable harm” to the government and the public in delaying the investigation. 

The Trump legal team and the DOJ each proposed two candidates to conduct the review. 

Here are the four people that Trump and the DOJ have proposed to serve as special master: 

Raymond J. Dearie 

Trump chose Raymond J. Dearie, a retired U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), as one of his picks. Dearie was nominated to the seat and confirmed by the Senate in 1986 by then-President Reagan. 

He served as chief judge of the court from 2007 to 2011, according to his profile page on the court’s website. Dearie assumed senior status on the court in 2011, moving to a form of semi-retirement that allows judges older than 65 to take a lighter caseload. 

Dearie also served as a U.S. attorney for EDNY from 1982 to 1986. He also served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign spies in the U.S., according to Trump and the DOJ’s court filing announcing their choices. 

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Paul Huck Jr. 

Paul Huck Jr., who is Trump’s other pick, has spent his legal career working in both the public and private sectors. Huck served as deputy attorney general in Florida for four years and then served as general counsel to Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican at the time who has since joined the Democratic Party, from 2007 to 2008. 

While serving as general counsel, he was the top legal adviser to Crist on constitutional, legislative and statutory matters involving the executive branch, according to his profile page on the site for conservative legal organization The Federalist Society, where he is a contributor. 

The Federalist Society defines a contributor as speaking or participating in its events, publications or multimedia presentations, and the title does not necessarily imply any other endorsement or relationship with the organization. 

Huck also founded his own law firm, the Huck Law Firm, and is a former partner at the multinational law firm Jones Day, according to the court filing. 

Barbara S. Jones 

One of the DOJ’s picks is Barbara S. Jones, who served as a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of New York for more than a decade and a half. She was nominated to the seat in 1995 by then-President Clinton. 

She presided over cases on a wide range of topics, including accounting and securities fraud, antitrust, corruption, labor racketeering and terrorism while serving, according to her profile page for Bracewell LLP, where she is a partner. 

Before she began serving as a district judge, she served as chief assistant to Robert Morgenthau, the district attorney of New York County at the time. 

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Jones also served as the chair of the Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel, which Congress created to analyze investigations of sexual assault in the military. 

She served as a special master in 2018 to review documents from Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, to examine if any were privileged. 

Thomas B. Griffith 

Thomas B. Griffith, the DOJ’s other candidate, served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 2005 to 2020. He serves as special counsel for the law firm Hutton Andrews Kurth LLP. 

Griffith served as the Senate legal counsel, the body’s nonpartisan top legal officer, from 1995 to 1999, according to his profile page on his law firm’s website. He advised Senate leadership and committees on investigations in the role. 

Griffith was also the general counsel to Brigham Young University in Utah for five years. He is a lecturer of law at Harvard University and has served in that role in the past for Stanford University and Brigham Young.

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