The Trump Team was confident it had selected someone to serve as Special Master who would side with him, as did the corrupt ideologue Judge Alieen Cannon. The Trump Team is finding out today that retired Judge Raymond J. Dearie is a no nonsense, “I’m not putting up with any of your shit” kind of judge.
The Daily Beast reports, Special Master Has a Simple Test That May Be Disaster for Trump:
Former President Donald Trump’s battle with the FBI over its search of Mar-a-Lago has moved from South Florida to New York City, where a court-appointed “special master” on Tuesday indicated he has a very simple test for whether he sides with the Department of Justice.
The special master, Raymond J. Dearie, said Tuesday that if Trump’s lawyers don’t officially counter whether the documents the former president took are classified, then Dearie will side with the DOJ.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it,” he said.
Note: This is true in all cases: uncontroverted evidence may be taken as estabished fact by the court. In other words, “put up or shut up.”
Dearie, a semi-retired federal judge in Brooklyn who’s playing the role of temporary referee, wants to speed up the process and get federal agents back on track. And while Trump has been alleging on social media that he already declassified the records he swiped from the White House, Dearie is demanding that Trump put up or shut up. The senior judge is asking that Trump’s team assert—in sworn affidavits where lies could mean jail time—whether or not Trump actually declassified them.
Dearie said wasn’t going to “hurry,” but noted that time is of the essence.
Judge Cannon gave him until the end of November, but clearly Judge Dearie has his own quicker deadline.
Dearie also cautioned Trump’s lawyers from being coy simply to avoid making mistakes and oversharing potentially damning information.
“This is not a criminal case. The plaintiff has the burden of establishing his right to relief,” he said.
When Trump lawyer James M. Trusty argued his team “shouldn’t be in a position where we have to disclose… declassification defenses,” Dearie wasn’t having any of it.
Is this guy a fist year law student who hasn’t taken trial practice yet?
“You can’t have your cake and eat it,” Dearie shot back.
Dearie is tasked with reviewing the seized documents and analyzing which ones can keep being used by the Department of Justice to build its case against the former president for putting the nation at risk by keeping more than 100 classified documents at his Palm Beach club long after leaving office.
The FBI’s investigation—a delicate undertaking that could result in criminal charges against a former president for the first time in American history—has grinded to a halt following a bizarre intervention by a federal judge Trump appointed himself. When Trump sued the United States government he once led, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida earlier this month answered his pleas and, in an opinion that was widely criticized for its intellectual gymnastics, gave Trump exactly what he wanted.
[Judge Dearie] the senior judge in Brooklyn, who was once appointed as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn by former President Ronald Reagan, is going to begin sifting through a gargantuan mountain of evidence. The Justice Department says it has 11,000 documents in question.
Cannon’s order dictates that Dearie must distinguish between Trump’s “personal items,” official presidential records that could be subject to “executive privilege” even though he’s out of office [and has no executive privilege, which belongs to the incumbent president], and classified documents. Dearie is also to verify that the FBI’s “detailed property inventory” of things it seized at Mar-a-Lago is actually accurate. He’ll be hearing from both sides, making an independent assessment, then sending his recommendations in reports to Cannon down in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Dearie has been given wide discretion, as he can seek answers from the government agency that started this all: the National Archives and Records Administration. Historians there, who are tasked with building an accurate record of each presidency, were alarmed last year when they discovered that the Trump administration simply refused to turn over some materials on the way out. What followed were months of negotiations, an awkward visit to Mar-a-Lago to pick up boxes that should never have been there, and eventually a referral to the FBI when Trump’s attorneys stopped answering questions.
Dearie’s review is meant to be limited to that FBI search, although anything he determines could have lasting implications on the investigation—and could corner Trump into admitting to a crime.
On Monday evening, Trump attorney James Trusty wrote to Dearie warning that his requests for additional details have already gone well beyond Cannon’s order and would force Team Trump “to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.”
Dearie also shows that he wants to speed things up. Although Cannon ordered Dearie to finish his review by Nov. 30, court filings reveal that Dearie actually wants all records labeled and ready to review by Oct. 7. That could mean that we see action—and potentially damning conclusions—before Election Day this year.
Making this sting even more, Trump has been ordered to pay for Dearie’s salary in the meantime.
The party that requests a special master pays for the special master. Thems the rules.
This legal fight is actually proceeding on two fronts, with the feds and Trump duking it out in Brooklyn while Cannon’s entire special master arrangement is on appeal in the Eleventh Circuit out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Note: the Eleventh Circuit coud grant the DOJ’s emergency appeal to set aside Judge Cannon’s order for a Special Master in short order, maybe even this week.
The DOJ appealed her decision on Sept. 9. On Tuesday at noon, just before the special master hearing in Brooklyn, Trump’s lawyers told the appellate court in a filing that this entire case is nothing but “a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control.”
Sounds like another incompetent Trump lawyer begging for sanctions.
“The government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th president of his own presidential and personal records,” they wrote.
THE DOCUMENTS ARE NOT HIS PROPERTY! BY LAW, THEY ARE THE RECORDS OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, under the PresidentIal Records Act of 1978, and Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977). This is first year law student Constitutional Law. Reporters need to make this clear in their reporting, and not make it appear as if this is an open question – it is settled law! Trump doesn’t have a leg to stand on (only corrupt Trump appointed judges). He is engaging in dilatory legal tactics without legal merit.
Politico adds, Special master to Trump’s lawyers: ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’:
The senior federal judge tasked with reviewing the materials seized by the FBI from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate sharply questioned the former president’s attorneys Tuesday during their first hearing before his courtroom.
Judge Raymond Dearie pushed Trump’s lawyers repeatedly for refusing to back up the former president’s claim that he declassified the highly sensitive national security-related records discovered in his residence.
“You can’t have your cake and eat it,” said Dearie, the “special master” picked by U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon to vet Trump’s effort to reclaim the materials taken by federal investigators.
Dearie bristled at the effort by Trump’s lawyers to resist his request for proof that Trump actually attempted to declassify any of the 100 documents that the Justice Department recovered from his estate. Without evidence from Trump, Dearie said his only basis to judge the classification level of the records was the fact that they all bear markings designating them as highly sensitive national security secrets — including some that indicate they contain intelligence derived from human sources and foreign intercepts.
The early tension between Dearie and Trump’s legal team was an ominous sign for the former president, who demanded the special master review the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago and who proposed Dearie — a 1986 appointee of Ronald Reagan — to perform the task. Prosecutors had offered two other names, but acceded to Trump’s choice of Dearie.
[A] more subdued atmosphere prevailed inside Dearie’s courtroom. Members of the press were seated in the jury box, prompting one of Trump’s attorneys to joke before the session got underway that the former president’s team had not agreed to this set of jurors.
Dearie, 78, engaged succinctly with the parties during the 40-minute session. He noted that the current litigation filed by Trump is civil in nature, since no criminal charges have been filed, so the burden of proof is on Trump to back up any assertion of privilege or other protected interest in the documents.
Trump’s lawyers asked Dearie to set in motion the process of getting security clearances so they can review the allegedly classified documents.
But prosecutor Julie Edelstein told the judge that some of the records involved are so sensitive that members of the government’s own investigative team still haven’t been approved to the documents.
Whether any of the records seized from Trump’s home are classified may ultimately be a side issue. The Justice Department has emphasized that the three potential crimes it is investigating don’t hinge on whether the material held at Mar-a-Lago was classified.
Still, Dearie’s comments on classification of the records were particularly notable in light of a separate court filing by Trump, who is urging a federal appeals court to keep in place Cannon’s order blocking the Justice Department from advancing its criminal investigation into the seized records.
n that filing, Trump’s attorneys argued that it was the Justice Department — not Trump — that bore the burden of showing the documents seized last month were classified. Dearie rejected that argument in his courtroom, saying that all that mattered were the markings on the documents.
An accurate statement of the law. Trump and his incompetent lawyers are playing games and need to be hammered with sanctions.
UPDATE: Special Master Raymond J. Dearie has filed a case management plan.
LawFareblog reports, “Dearie Releases Case Management Plan for Mar-a-Lago Document Review”, https://www.lawfareblog.com/dearie-releases-case-management-plan-mar-lago-document-review
Special Master Raymond J. Dearie established a case management plan with document log deadlines, processing procedures, and handling specifications for the Justice Department and former President Donald Trump’s counsel to follow in ongoing disputes over seized Mar-a-Lago documents. The case management plan includes the recruitment of former United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York James Orenstein (ret.), who currently holds Top Secret clearance, to assist Dearie’s work for an “efficient administration of the Special Master’s duties.” The parties are able to file objections or motions to adopt or modify the case management plan until Sept. 27, after which any rights to object to the plan will have been waived.
So, Trump’s “attorneys” requested a Special Master, got the one they wanted and things are not going as they expected. As I understand it Cannon set up the Special Master in such a way that she can get rid of him & appoint a replacement without having to justify herself. In other words the Repugs favorite game….Calvinball!