No big surprises, as far as I can tell.
The only surprise for me is that neither side appears to have directly responded to the request made by the judge after the DOJ filed on Thursday.
Question for the attorneys: Don’t both sides have to respond TODAY to the Thursday request from the judge?
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 a 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.
The Justice Department proposed two former Federal District Court judges for the position: Barbara S. Jones, a retired jurist from New York who was tapped to perform a similar role in evaluating documents seized from two personal lawyers of Mr. Trump, Michael S. Cohen in 2017 and Rudolph W. Giuliani in 2021; and Thomas B. Griffith, who retired from the bench in the District of Columbia in 2020.
Mr. Trump’s legal team countered with two alternatives, retired Federal District Court judge, Raymond J. Dearie, who sat in the Eastern District of New York and once served as the top federal prosecutor there. They also suggested Paul Huck Jr., a former deputy attorney general in Florida who also served as general counsel to Gov. Charlie Crist, who was a Republican at the time.
Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who ordered the parties to produce a list of qualified candidates by midnight Friday, will decide who will be tapped for the job. She will also set the parameters of the review.
The two sides also clashed substantially over the duties of the special master. Mr. Trump’s lawyers argued that the arbiter should look at all the documents seized in the search and filter out anything potentially subject to attorney-client or executive privilege.
By contrast, the government argued that the master should look only at unclassified documents and should not adjudicate whether anything was subject to executive privilege.
The dispute over the special master’s purview was reflected in an appeal the Justice Department filed on Thursday asking that the judge lift part of her order temporarily barring it from using the documents in its investigation until the arbiter’s work was done.
The department asked an appeals court to overturn that part of that order that applied to about 100 documents marked as classified, and asked Judge Cannon to hold off on enforcing that same part while the appeal unfolded. The upshot would be that the investigation could resume using only the documents with classification markings.
Judge Cannon has not yet decided whether to comply with the government’s request, which the Justice Department argued was necessary in part because separate national-security assessments were inextricably bound to that effort.