(FiveNation.com)- On Tuesday, the special master who was appointed to inspect all the documents that were seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate by the FBI was scheduled to meet with representatives from both sides.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the situation, officially appointed Raymond Dearie, a retired federal judge from New York, to be the special master in the case. He was recommended by Trump’s legal team, and prosecutors from the Department of Justice said they approved of his appointment.
The job of the special master in this case is to review all of the documents that were seized by the FBI to see whether any are subject to attorney-client or executive privilege. If they are, they likely will not be able to be used by the DOJ in their criminal investigation against Trump.
Immediately after he was appointed special master, Dearie scheduled this meeting between attorneys of both sides, telling them they should suggest items that needed to be discussed. Dearie has a deadline of November 30 to go through all of the documents in the case.
It may not be such a straightforward review, though.
In a court filing on Monday, attorneys for the former president said they don’t want to disclose to Dearie which documents taken from Mar-a-Lago that they’re claiming that Trump might have de-classified while he was still in the White House.
The attorneys are arguing that they shouldn’t be forced to disclose any details regarding de-classification until they decide whether they will be fighting the warrant that was issued to the FBI, or whether they would use that as part of the defense if Trump were to be indicted.
Their reasoning is that this disclosure would then need to be shared with the DOJ.
Many legal experts, though, have said that it may not matter if Trump de-classified any of the documents, depending on which charges, if any, the DOJ decides to proceed with.
Lawyers for the DOJ responded by saying that Dearie should immediately start reviewing all of the documents. They also say the former president’s legal team should be required to review up to 500 pages each day, and mark each as either privileged or not privileged so that DOJ prosecutors will be able to either disagree or agree with that determination.
That, then, would allow Dearie to make his final judgment on each of the documents that are being debated.
In the meantime, the DOJ is still fighting in court so they can continue to access the documents they say were classified so they can continue their full investigation into Trump and whether he committed any crimes.
For now, Cannon has put a stop to any further investigation while the special master conducts his full review of the documents. Prosecutors for the DOJ, though, have appealed that decision, in hopes that they can continue to move along the investigation as quick as possible so that they can potentially charge Trump with a crime.