US federal judge Raymond Dearie has been appointed to assess the documents collected during the FBI’s search of former US President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.
As “special master” Mr. Dearie, 78, will make decisions regarding which documents are admissible in court proceedings.
Mr. Trump’s staff had suggested him, and the US Department of Justice had earlier stated that it had no objections.
Investigations are being conducted into the former US president’s handling of sensitive information.
Documents kept at Mr. Trump’s Florida home were reportedly hidden, according to Department of Justice officials, in an effort to thwart an FBI inquiry.
The National Archives is the organization that US presidents are required by law to transfer these documents to after leaving office, according to the authorities.
Mr. Trump insists that he did nothing illegal and that all the records were safely stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence because he had declassified them while he was president.
Mr. Trump’s legal team filed a request for a special master, an impartial attorney who determines whether any records are protected by the attorney-client or executive privilege.
The US government is not allowed to analyze or use the materials it has seized for its investigation until the special master’s independent examination is complete, according to a court who granted Mr. Trump’s request earlier this month.
Mr. Dearie was appointed on Thursday by US federal judge Aileen Cannon, who also prohibited the Department of Justice from continuing the file review.
If Judge Cannon denied their request, the agency had already stated that it would appeal the decision.
Because the government cannot analyze or seize materials for its investigation until the special master’s examination is finished, the ongoing criminal investigation by the justice department will now be slowed down.
Trump’s request was rejected by the Department of Justice, which said that any presidential records found during the FBI’s search at Mar-a-Lago on August 8 “belong to the United States, not to the former president”
The length of the special master’s review is uncertain.
Attorney-client privilege, a provision of US law that permits clients to keep discussions with their lawyers private, is claimed to apply to some of the records, according to Mr. Trump’s attorneys.
Additionally, his legal team has asserted “executive privilege” over the records, which enables presidents to conceal some interactions.
However, considering that the documents have previously been examined, some legal experts claim that these actions are only a stalling ploy.