Justice Department and Trump legal team clash over special master candidates

By | September 10, 2022

The New York Times reports:

The Justice Department and lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump failed to agree on Friday on who could serve as an independent arbiter to sift through documents the F.B.I. seized from Mr. Trump’s Florida club and residence last month.

In an eight-page joint filing that listed far more points of disagreement than of consensus, the two sides exhibited sharply divergent visions for what the arbiter, known as a special master, would do, and put forth different candidates.

The Justice Department proposed two former federal judges for the position: Barbara S. Jones, a Clinton appointee to the Southern District of New York who performed a similar role in cases involving two personal lawyers of Mr. Trump, Michael S. Cohen in 2017 and Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2021; and Thomas B. Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee who retired from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 2020.

Mr. Trump’s legal team countered with two suggestions of its own: a retired Federal District Court judge, Raymond J. Dearie, a Reagan appointee who sat in the Eastern District of New York and once served as the top federal prosecutor there; and Paul Huck Jr., a former deputy attorney general in Florida who also served as general counsel to Charlie Crist, who was its Republican governor at the time.

Mr. Huck is married to Judge Barbara Lagoa, whom Mr. Trump appointed to the Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which oversees federal courts in Florida. Such an appointment would appear to create a conflict of interest that could require Judge Lagoa to recuse herself from litigation involving the case. [Continue reading…]

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