Special Master Dearie unhappy with the advancement of the Mar-a-Lago document: “Where’s the beef? I need some beef”


A court-appointed special teacher on Tuesday expressed frustration at the limited information he is receiving from the Department of Justice and former President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys about the disputes over the seized documents in Mar-a-Lago.

“Where’s the steak? I need some meat,” said Judge Raymond Dearie, third-party auditor of the seized documents, during a half-hour conference call with attorneys on both sides.

The discussion highlighted the potentially messy and slow process of working out privacy claims in the unprecedented criminal investigation into Trump. The former president argues that at least some of the documents are from him and should not be used by Justice Department investigators.

Dearie is reviewing the documents to determine which ones can be used by the Justice Department in its criminal investigation. She will then send recommendations to District Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida.

On Tuesday, Dearie pointed to, for example, a letter that is already disputed as potentially private in the collection of documents taken from Trump’s Florida estate. The letter would have been addressed to the Justice Department, but the copy found in Mar-a-Lago was unsigned. The Justice Department hadn’t said if the agency had received it.

Dearie asked why the two sides cannot determine between themselves whether the letter was sent, which would be a crucial fact in helping the judge decide whether it should be kept confidential.

“I don’t want to deal with nonsense objections, nonsense claims, especially when I have a month to deal with who knows how many claims,” said Dearie of New York’s Eastern District.

Dearie’s discussion on Tuesday and previous orders set him a timeline for making document privacy decisions by mid-December. The Department of Justice is already working separately on about 100 documents marked as classified that were seized in Mar-a-Lago and separated from Dearie’s work, and the agency is also challenging the special master trial in a federal appeals court. as a whole.

Dearie told parties he also hopes to hear from both sides about how to treat documents Trump wants to call personal, and thus potentially protect them from investigators, and also says they are covered by executive privileges, which could make them government documents.

“Unless I’m wrong, and I’ve been wrong before, there’s a certain inconsistency there. Maybe the plaintiffs’ attorney will deal with it in a statement, ”Dearie said.

Both sides will make most of their requests for additional document privileges to Dearie by 12 November.

The parties have not yet indicated how many of the nearly 22,000 pages seized in Mar-a-Lago Trump are in question and will require the special master to make a phone call.

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