On Friday evening, in the wake of a special master arbiter being appointed to the document dispute between the Department of Justice and former President Donald Trump, Newsmax spoke to Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general during the Trump administration, and Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and one of this nation's foremost authorities on the U.S. Constitution.
Both the DOJ and Trump's legal team approved the appointment of special master Raymond Dearie, a former federal prosecutor who also served as the chief judge of the federal court based in Brooklyn.
Dershowitz admitted to being "surprised" by the Trump legal team's submission of Dearie, who signed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant in 2018 geared toward Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
Also, FISA court judges generally err "on the side of the government and national security," says Dershowitz, while appearing on "Spicer & Co." with host Sean Spicer.
Dershowitz, who's promoting his book, "The Price of Principle: Why Integrity Is Worth The Consequences," said Dearie has a reputation of being a "good judge, a fair judge. ... He's had a very distinguished career, but it's also very much a pro-prosecution career, a pro-national security career."
Overall, Dershowitz doesn't "understand completely why the Trump team would pick [Dearie]."
Dershowitz added: Dearie may lean politically to the right, and he was appointed to the federal courts by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. "But in New York, there are many anti-Trump Republicans."
On the flip side, Whitaker believes the Trump team had a number of positive reasons for Dearie's special master submission. As a general rule, these types of recommendations typically go to legal minds the Trump team would "know" and "trust."
"This is a great win for the Trump team, and I continue to believe they wouldn't have put [Dearie's] name forward if they didn't think he would be fair," says Whitaker. "At the end of the day, all we want is someone who follows the rule of law" and makes judgments "based on reason and common sense. ... I think he'll do a very good job."
Both Whitaker and Dershowitz are presuming that U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will reject the DOJ's appeal to continue the criminal investigation involving Trump while special master Dearie combs through approximately 11,000 government documents — some of which may or may not have been formally declassified by then-President Trump, prior to leaving office in January 2021.
"Every judge is different ... but this isn't calling balls and strikes," says Dershowitz, using a baseball analogy to exacerbate the point that the "top secret" or "classified" markings of the documents could be moot if Trump declassified the papers as president.
As for Cannon's conduct throughout this dispute, in terms of wading through the DOJ claims of national security being at risk from papers being stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Dershowitz says, the "government does cry wolf from time to time, on matters of national security. ... There doesn't seem to be evidence that national security ... is at serious risk."
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