Donald Trump’s legal team and federal prosecutors both proposed special masters to arbitrate the investigation into the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago — but the two sides were at odds about the roles of the candidates.
The former president and the government filed their proposals at federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida on Friday evening ahead of a midnight deadline.
The feds suggested former Manhattan judge Hon. Barbara Jones or retired Washington, DC judge Thomas Griffith for the role of the independent third party in the investigation into top-secret documents, court documents show.
Jones had already served as a special master during federal investigations into Trump associates Rudy Giuliani and Michael Cohen.
Trump asked for former Manhattan US Attorney and judge Hon. Raymond Dearie or Paul Huck, Jr., a former Florida deputy attorney general.
The former president’s team requested that the special master look at all the 300 classified documents taken from the resort to “evaluate potential Executive Privilege claims,” and did not believe the arbiter should consult with the National Archives and Records Administration.
The government told the court it didn’t want the special master to review classified documents or “adjudicate claims of Executive Privilege,” but argued the independent third-party should consult with NARA on the determination of the trove of records.
The feds also want Trump to pay for the special master and asked that the arbitrator’s review is finished by the middle of October. Trump’s team requested 90 days for the review to be completed.
Lawyers on each side will now meet to “resolve the outstanding issues in the proposed
appointment orders,” according to the legal brief, filed by US Attorney Juan Gonzales.
The update came after Trump notched an early victory in the legal battle against the government earlier this week when a judge granted him the right for a third party in the case amid his arguments that the feds would “impugn, leak, and publicize select aspects of their investigation.”
That decision by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, halted the DOJ’s ability to scour through the documents, many of which were obtained in an Aug. 8 raid of Trump’s Palm Beach resort.
Some of the files seized were so secretive that FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys were not authorized to view them.