Special master sets tight schedule to review Trump records

The special master, who was selected last month to review more than 11,000 records removed by the FBI from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, has set out his plan of action with a tight timeline and intent to complete the review of records to be completed by the end of October .

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit stayed a lower court decision that had Special Counsel Raymond Dearie appraise about 100 classified records, preventing the Justice Department from using the records as part of its criminal investigation use while the review was taking place.

With that settled, Dearie, the former Chief Justice of the Brooklyn Federal Court, has set a breakneck timeline to review and segregate all documents the FBI obtained during the court-authorized search of Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., home on March 8 August, which may be covered by attorney-client privilege claims or board-client privilege claims, and to determine whether any of the materials should be returned to Trump. Once the review is complete, Dearie will present a report of his recommendations to US District Judge Aileen Cannon.

Dearie’s filing states that he enlisted the help of former U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York James Orenstein at a suggested hourly rate of $500. Cannon has already ruled that Trump is responsible for the cost of the Master’s special exam.

Dearie said he will not seek compensation because he is still at the bench, but will hire Eastern District officials to help search the documents. The next status conference is scheduled for October 6th by phone.

The Justice Department must provide an affidavit by Monday certifying the accuracy of the inventory the Department has released detailing the items removed from Mar-a-Lago.

Trump must file an affidavit against the inventory by September 30, including a listing of any items that were taken that do not appear on the list, or items that the list says were removed that he denies that they were on his property. Trump and his allies have repeatedly claimed the FBI planted evidence during his search, though his attorneys have not brought that case to court.

“This filing is Plaintiff’s final opportunity to raise factual disputes as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Property Inventory,” Dearie said.

Dearie also instructed the administration and Trump’s legal team to agree on a third-party provider to digitize the records by Friday, specifying that the provider has three days to make the records available electronically for review to begin can.

Trump’s legal team has also been instructed to make any statements it will make on any record in these categories: attorney-client communications privilege; attorney work product privilege; Executive privilege prohibiting review of the document within the executive branch; Executive privilege, prohibiting distribution of the document to any person or entity outside the executive branch; if the document is a Presidential record within the meaning of the Presidential Records Act 1978; and if the document is a personal record under this Act.

For any document that Trump designates as privileged or personal, he must include a brief statement explaining the basis for the designation.

Dearie instructed Trump’s team to provide regular updates on Trump’s claims and to make a final decision by Oct. 14 on what the former president wants to claim regarding all 11,000 records.

The Justice Department and Trump’s attorneys must also try to resolve as many disputes over the records as possible, although Dearine noted that he will intervene throughout the process to resolve disputes. The Department and Trump’s attorneys have until October 21 to provide a final record of the dispute.

Trump’s legal team received the documents that the FBI’s filtering team had identified as covered by attorney-client privilege on Sept. 16, and Dearie’s file prompted the former president’s legal team to begin reviewing those documents and asserting any claims of attorney-client privilege close.

Dearie said once the district court reviews his work, he will review all of Trump’s requests for property restitution. The filing also directs Trump to address in that possible request whether Cannon or the DC Circuit judge who issued the search warrant is the right place to resolve such a claim.

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-09-22/special-master-sets-tight-schedule-to-review-trump-records-taken-in-mar-a-lago-search Special master sets tight schedule to review Trump records

Alley Einstein

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