Washington — The Justice Department and Trump’s legal team have submitted their lists of potential special nominees to review the documentsat former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in August.
In a joint filing late Friday, prosecutors and Trump’s team each submitted two candidates for the role.
The administration nominated two retired federal judges: Barbara Jones, who served on the federal district court in Manhattan, and Thomas Griffith, who served on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The former president’s legal team nominated Rayond Dearie, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and Paul Huck, Jr., former deputy attorney general for the State of Florida.
The parties said they would respond to each other’s pair of candidates by Monday.
Judge Aileen Cannonthat he would appoint a special master, an independent third party, to undertake the review and ordered the two parties to draw up a list of potential candidates acceptable to both.
Cannon also ordered federal investigators investigating whether Trump mishandled classified documents to stop using the seized documents in their criminal investigation, pending a review by a special master.
On Thursday, the Justice Department filed a notice of intent to appeal Cannon’s special master’s decision and also asked her to vacate part of the ruling so investigators can continue examining the 103 most sensitive documents seized from the Mar -a-Lago that carry secret markings.
Trump and his lawyers have until Monday morning to respond to the Justice Department’s request to continue investigating the documents.
Earlier this week, Cannon sided with Trump’s legal team, finding that an independent review was necessary. He assigned a special master to analyze “potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.” The ruling allowed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to continue its review of potential national security risks posed by the seized records, while denying investigators access to them.
But the intelligence community decided to halt its analysis of the documents, citing “uncertainty” caused by Cannon’s order on Monday. According to Thursday’s filing by the Justice Department, the 103 documents with classified markings had already been separated from the remaining thousands of seized records.
The Justice Department argued in its appeal that halting its investigation would seriously harm national security and that the review of records information cannot be conducted without the involvement of criminal investigators. The investigation and the general public, prosecutors wrote, could be “irreparably harmed” by the suspension.
Trump claimed in his lawsuit that the Justice Department’s search warrant that led to the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago was “excessive” and that investigators obtained “putatively privileged” information. Cannon’s opinion Monday indicated she believed that claim warranted further consideration.
Investigators have been looking into allegations that classified documents were mishandled when they were moved from the Trump White House to his Mar-a-Lago residence after the presidential transition in 2021. In three separate cases earlier this year that culminated in the investigation on August 8 by the National Archives and the FBI discovered troves of documents from the Florida resort. They are also investigating whether Trump or his team obstructed the investigation by failing to properly respond to a grand jury subpoena.
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