Random Citizens Vie for Role of Mar-a-Lago Special Master

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

A slew of unsolicited pitches flooded the mailbox of Judge Aileen M. Cannon in South Florida this week.

They were from concerned citizens of different backgrounds, all with one goal—to be appointed as the special master to oversee classified documents obtained by the feds at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence last month.

“I am a retired person since age 39 who is currently a hobbyist in the film and music industry,” wrote Joseph M Inman, who claims to have worked with classified documents regularly during his career in intelligence research.

Pitches like that of Inman’s became public record Friday afternoon after they were added to the Mar-a-Lago case docket.

If Inman were to become a finalist as the case’s special master—essentially an independent arbiter—they’d have to consider a long list of conditions set by him.

“My requirements, as I quickly muster the courage to submit this motion, include: A military motorcade…A private office space. A comparable room to my current private residence at Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas,” he wrote.

Inman also requested a budget for staff, the power to conduct “independent reviews and investigations” related to the Mar-a-Lago raid, as well as emergency security clearance.

“I humbly petition myself as Special Master in case number 9:22-cv-81294 or its related casework and investigations,” he said.

While Inman was the lone candidate to lay out specific demands, he was far from the only person to throw his name in the hat.

Joining him was Phillip Rakita, of Philadelphia, who admitted he wasn’t much of an expert in the field of law, but said he was willing to take the job on.

“I'm not quite sure what the job specifications are for such an assignment (although I’m sure they are publicly available via a FOIA request) but I would like to offer my services for this task,” he wrote.

Rakita conceded that he might be in over his head since he didn’t attend law school. But If those in charge could see past that, Rakita requested they consider him as a legal assistant or adviser to whoever is eventually appointed special master.

“As a citizen (native born), taxpayer, and voter, I want to help make our country a better place for all of us,” Rakita wrote. “Please tell me how I can help. Where do I send my resumé for this job?“

Unlike a lawyer or judge, there are no legal requirements that dictate who is or isn’t eligible to become a special master. So, technically, both men have a shot at the gig, with Rakita pulling on his sole local connection to South Florida to really put himself on top.

“I do have a connection to your ‘Southern District of Florida,’” Rakita wrote, “as both of my parents are buried there.”

The Justice Dept. Just Eviscerated the Trump-Appointed Judge in the Mar-a-Lago Case

Friday was the deadline for the Department of Justice and former President Donald Trump’s legal team to jointly file a list of possible candidates to become a special master and review records seized by the feds last month. While both parties must agree on a name, it’s ultimately up to Cannon to decide whether that person is chosen or not.

Many have criticized Cannon, a Trump appointee, for granting the former president’s request to make a special master available at all. The move has temporarily barred prosecutors from reviewing the seized records themselves until a special master is appointed, or the idea of requiring one is dropped altogether.

The duty of the special master in this case, according to The New York Times, would be to independently study the classified documents obtained by the feds at Mar-a-Lago in August. Then, it’d be up to the special master to make recommendations in court to Judge Cannon, who could then either accept or reject the arbiter’s recommended action.

While perhaps still a bit of a long shot, not all of this week’s letters to Cannon were total parody.

One arrived from Angela D. Gupta, who described herself as a mediator and attorney of 30 years who has worked closely with a special master in Ohio in the past.

Gupta, a 1990 graduate of UPenn’s law school, included a full résumé in her letter, along with a plea for Cannon to give her a chance.

“My resume is enclosed for your review,” Gupta wrote. “I know this is a long shot. Please feel free to call or email me for additional information.”

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