What to know about Judge Raymond Dearie, the Mar-a-Lago search special master

Courtroom sketch of Judge Raymond Deary in New York in January 2013.


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Courtroom sketch of Judge Raymond Deary in New York in January 2013.


Judge Ellen Cannon has appointed Judge Raymond Deary as special master to review documents seized during a court-approved search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home in August.

Dearie, 78, the former chief justice of the federal court in the Eastern District of New York, was one of the special master candidates suggested by Trump, which the Justice Department did not object to.

Canon directed Dear to release an interim report and recommendations “as appropriate” during the review and set a November 30 deadline for completing its work. The Justice Department said it would appeal the special master’s order.

Here’s what you need to know about the particular master’s background.

Dearie was hired by Reagan

Republican President Ronald Reagan appointed Dearie to serve as a federal judge in New York in 1986, and he assumed the senior position in 2011. Lawyers for the Justice Department have stated that Dearie has “substantial judicial experience” and is thus qualified for the special master job.

Deary received a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1969 and then eventually served as an attorney for the Eastern District of New York, before Reagan tapped him to serve as a judge. He served as the Chief Justice from 2007 to 2011.

People who know Dearie interviewed by NPR describe her as “fair”.

Andrew Weisman, a federal prosecutor, a former senior member of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and a Special Master himself, described Dearie as “kind” and “fair” and “the platonic ideal of what you want in a judge”. described.

“If you asked both prosecutors and lawyers, they would say the same thing, that he is very fair,” Weisman said. “It’s unusual to have a judge where both sides have a lot of admiration for someone.”

When Weisman was starting out as a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, the judge was late to appear in court. “A few days later, I received a handwritten apology from him in the mail,” Weisman recalled. The defense lawyer received the same letter from the judge. “It was remarkable just because the judges have a lot of power — they don’t need to do that,” Weisman said.

And in a statement to NPR, Daniel R., partner at Buckley LLP and a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. Alonso called Dearie an “old-school gentleman and unfailingly polite”.

“Judge Dearie is a judge who, while objectively impartial, will never tolerate arguments presented by Trump’s lawyers,” Alonso said.

Dearie Completes Seven Year Term in US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

In this role, Dearie was one of the judges who approved the FBI and Justice Department’s request to survey Carter Page, who was then the Trump campaign’s foreign policy adviser.

It was part of an investigation to find out whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. There were several errors by the FBI in the process, according to the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, and two of the four surveillance warrants granted by the FISA court were declared invalid, including the one approved by Dearie.

Some of his most prominent cases depict mob figures and al-Qaeda.

During his active time as a judge on the US District Court in Brooklyn, NY, Dearie sentenced Abid Nasser to 40 years in prison. The Pakistani was a member of al-Qaeda and planned, but did not carry out, an attack on a shopping center in Manchester, England; New York City subway system; and a Danish newspaper. Naseer faced a possible life sentence.

Naseer, representing himself in the court, tried to appeal to the judge as someone who was not a threat to the society. “Dear Judge, it is true that I have spent most of my life looking for studies, not in search of extremism and fundamentalism,” he said. “I am not a career criminal, nor have I been.” Dearie replied: “I know you’re not. You are a terrorist.”

Dearie also handled cases involving organized crime, including an attempt to falsify a mental illness against the head of a crime family, including appearing in pajamas and bathrobes in the streets, talking to himself, and even that an attempt was made to avoid urinating. public. He was later sentenced, but not by Dearie.

In recent years, Dearie has become an advocate for sentencing reform.

In a 2016 New York Criminal Bar Association commentary, he called for the criminal justice system to “rethink and significantly step back”.

“If society is dependent on a prison cell alone to bring relief to the streets of New York or Chicago or to fight the heroin epidemic that is invading our communities, little will change,” he said, adding that “how do we work together as one? As if we take a fraction of the money people spend on warehouses and invest in programs to reach out to the vulnerable of the hollow call of the streets, society will fare.”

Dearie admitted that at times, he wanted to “scream in despair, sadness, and anger” when he needed to serve an inevitable punishment.

He continued:

We too often ignore issues, causes, needs, sit back as a society, wait for them to commit crimes, prosecute them with great enthusiasm, root for harsher punishment and then Pat themselves on the back for a job well done, often filling prisons with nonviolent criminals, often destroying the salvageable with brutally long sentences and endangering the well-being of innocent family members.

After 36 years on the bench, Dearie passes away

In August, Dearie decided he wanted to move to a dormant position as a judge, just a few steps away from formal retirement. But it is not yet clear when this change will eventually happen, one of their staff members told NPR. As a passive judge, Dearie can return to the bench when needed.

“I’m going to miss it,” he said New York Law Journal,

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