Special master in Trump Mar-a-Lago document case asks for help from retired federal judge

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The special master reviewing 11,000 documents seized at Donald Trump’s Florida estate asked for help Thursday from a retired judge.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master in the case, proposed to have James Orenstein help him. Orenstein is a retired federal magistrate judge who holds a top secret clearance and who has experience with complex cases, reviewing documents for attorney-client privilege and serving as an appointed aide on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Dearie said in a court filing.

Orenstein would be paid $500 per hour, Dearie said. Trump is covering all the costs of the special master review and Dearie gave him and the government until Saturday to comment on staffing and compensation.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.
Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

Dearie is reviewing the documents FBI agents seized Aug. 8 at Mar-a-Lago for personal records and documents that potentially are protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.

U.S. District Court Aileen Cannon appointed Dearie at Trump’s request.

More: Appeals court grants DOJ investigative access to classified documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago

Dearie mapped out a schedule for his review of the documents. He set a Friday deadline for Trump and the government to agree to a vendor who will handle the documents electronically. He set a Monday deadline for the government to make the documents available electronically with a spreadsheet to identify them.

Dearie asked Trump and the government to review the documents in three batches and report to him on any disputes about whether records are privileged by Oct. 7, 14 and 21.

If either side has any objections to how Dearie designates the documents, they will have seven days to file arguments.

"Any party may include a request for oral argument in its initial brief," Dearie wrote. "The Special Master will promptly issue a report and recommendation after briefing and oral argument has been completed."

Dearie has said he hopes to complete his review by Nov. 30.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Special master in Trump case asks for help reviewing Mar-a-Lago docs.