Trump team accuses special master Dearie of exceeding his authority in late night filing

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

Donald J. Trump’s legal team is objecting to multiple aspects of the review process proposed by “Special Master” Judge Raymond Dearie and his political opponents are very happy about what has been unfolding all week. 

“Tuesday evening, former FBI counsel and Robert Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann noted that Trump’s inability to find a document vendor is his own way of quiet-quitting his suit,” Alternet reported.

“I think there is something we can take away from what seems like a small potatoes kind of thing,” Weissmann said. “I think what Donald Trump is doing is quiet-quitting. He brought this case and he realized he is worse off from having brought this case.”

Weissmann isn’t the only one. As Savage quoted, New York University legal scholar in residence Peter Shane explained, “Maybe from Trump’s point of view, creating delay and chaos is always a plus, but this has the feel of a giant backfire.”

And on Thursday, there was something the leftist media was very pleased to hear:

“Trump is pushing back against a plan from the special master overseeing the review of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago that would require Trump to declare in court whether the Justice Department’s inventory from the search is accurate,” CNN reported on Thursday, adding:

“Trump’s objection to the request for the declaration was made public Wednesday night in a court filing from his lawyers, after the Justice Department discussed his opposition vaguely in a public submission to US District Judge Raymond Dearie, who is serving as special master, Tuesday evening.

Trump’s team argued the court order appointing Dearie made mention only of a declaration from a government official verifying the Justice Department’s search inventory, and that there was no such reference to a declaration from the Trump side. In the newly-public filing, which was a letter sent privately to Dearie Sunday, Trump said he had to object to the requirement “because the Special Master’s case management plan exceeds the grant of authority from the District Court on this issue.”

“Additionally, the Plaintiff currently has no means of accessing the documents bearing classification markings, which would be necessary to complete any such certification by September 30, the currently proposed date of completion,” Trump said.

The former President’s team also claimed that Dearie is exceeding his authority by asking that the documents from the search be logged in categories more specific than what US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who granted Trump’s request for the review, contemplated in her appointment order.”

Trump expressed his opposition as well to providing a briefing to Dearie on whether certain legal motions related to the search were best left to the magistrate judge who approved the warrant.

According to CNN, the Sunday objection letter to Dearie was made public with a Wednesday submission from the Trump team, in which they told the special master that documents from the search amount to 200,000 pages of material. The amount of material seized has not grown significantly since prosecutors first worked through it on the day of the search – but the Trump team, now grasping the number of pages within each document, is alarmed at how quickly they’ll have to work through the collection.

The Trump team wants extra time to work through the large volume of documents – after they had been characterized earlier as 11,000 items or documents by the Justice Department, three of Trump’s lawyers wrote in a letter to Dearie on Wednesday.

The outlet went on:

The Justice Department is investigating whether a crime was committed or the nation’s security was harmed because Trump and others had federal and classified government records among the hundreds of thousands of unsecured pages at the Florida beach club after he left the presidency.

In recent days, the special master process has prompted the Trump team and the Justice Department to try to hire a service that can host the documents digitally, so they can be worked through. Earlier this week, the department said in a court filing that Trump’s team had indicated the data hosting companies didn’t want to work with the former President.

His team now says the issue is the size of the evidence collection.

“In conversations between Plaintiff’s counsel and the Government regarding a data vendor, the Government mentioned that the 11,000 documents contain closer to 200,000 pages. That estimated volume, with a need to operate under the accelerated timeframes supported by the Government, is the reason why so many of the Government’s selected vendors have declined the potential engagement,” Trump’s team wrote on Wednesday.

Trump, in his Wednesday letter to Dearie, also complained that attorneys working on the investigation may have been exposed to a small number of confidential attorney-client communications before either the department’s filter team or the special master could review.

“They thought it was a win to win the first battle, but they didn’t think through what winning that battle would mean with any reputable judge who is appointed as special master,” Georgetown University professor of white-collar law Julie Sullivan said. “They can’t anticipate that every judge will give them a complete pass despite the law. It was a political or a public relations strategy, not a legal one.”

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