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US judge names ‘special master’ to review seized items in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago searc

Trump troubled

Washington, USA | Xinhua | A federal judge named a “special master” on Thursday to review items seized by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents in the search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

In a court order, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Florida Aileen Cannon appointed Raymond Dearie, a senior U.S. District Judge of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York, to serve as an independent arbiter, or special master.

In his role as a special master, Dearie will be responsible for reviewing the records taken by the FBI during last month’s search at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, for personal items and documents, as well as materials that may be potentially subject to claims of attorney-client or executive privileges.

Cannon gave Dearie a deadline of Nov. 30 to complete a review of the seized materials and said that Trump is responsible for “the professional fees and expenses of the special master and any professionals, support staff, and expert consultants engaged” in his request.

Dearie, 78, was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and served as chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York from 2007 to 2011. In 2011, he assumed senior status, a form of semi-retirement that allows judges to maintain a reduced caseload.

The U.S. Depart of Justice (DOJ) is investigating whether Trump mishandled presidential and government records — some of them allegedly highly classified — when and after leaving office.

Federal agents searched Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8 and seized 33 groups of items, including documents bearing classification markings, according to court filings.

Trump has lambasted the Mar-a-Lago “raid” as well as the DOJ probe and denied any wrongdoing. ■

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