The Justice Department said Monday it was open to accepting any of former President Donald J. Trump’s candidates for the position of independent arbitrator to review thousands of documents seized by the FBI last month from the residence of Mr Trump in Florida.
In a brief lawsuit, the prosecutors said they would not object if the judge presiding over the case appointed Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the Brooklyn Federal District Court as special master to oversee an evaluation of the treasure trove of sensitive materials seized by Mr Trump. estate, Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s attorneys and Justice Department attorneys are also engaged in a separate lawsuit over how a potential special captain should review the seized documents. Mr. Trump wants a comprehensive review examining all materials for items protected by attorney-client or executive privilege; the Department of Justice wants a more limited review, excluding about 100 documents that bear labels marking them as classified.
The Justice Department’s decision to formally join one of Mr. Trump’s picks for the senior special job was a setback from the position set forth Friday as prosecutors and Mr. Trump’s attorneys filed competing candidates for the position. .
Initially, the Department of Justice suggested two retired federal judges for the position: Barbara S. Jones, who previously served on the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Thomas B. Griffith, who previously served on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.
Trump’s legal team responded with half-retired Judge Dearie, who is a part-time senior judge on the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and Paul Huck Jr., a former Florida Deputy Attorney General. Judge Dearie, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, was also a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and oversaw highly classified cases.
In their filing on Monday, Justice Department attorneys said Ms. Jones, Mr. Griffith and Judge Dearie all had “significant judicial experience” and qualified for the special master’s job. The Justice Department said Mr Huck, a former Florida deputy attorney general, “doesn’t seem to have the same experience.”
Ultimately, the judge overseeing the case, Aileen M. Cannon of the Federal District Court in the Southern District of Florida, will choose the special master.