Why 9/11 Special Master Kenneth Feinberg Wouldn't Take the Trump Papers Case

Attorney Kenneth Feinberg estimates that he has taken on about “half a dozen” of the country’s toughest assignments as a special teacher ...


Attorney Kenneth Feinberg estimates that he has taken on about “half a dozen” of the country’s toughest assignments as a special teacher over the years.

He oversaw the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund under former President George W. Bush. He managed a similar fund for victims of the Deepwater Horizon spill during the Obama administration. He also oversaw CEO pay for companies that received government bailouts during the 2008 financial crisis.

However, in an exclusive interview, he told CBS News Senior Investigative Correspondent Catherine Herridge that if he were asked be special master in the case involving the seized documents of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, the answer would be no.

“I don’t,” Feinberg said on Friday. “I don’t have that skill set. I have some security clearances over the years. I still have security clearances. But that level of security clearance, along with the special – really, the special specialization that I think an individual would have to I have, leads me to believe that I am not the right person for this task.”

On the question of whether he was approached, Feinberg retorted, “Thank God, no.”

Feinberg noted that the special master will have to “prepare” for a “politically charged assignment” in which they can receive credible threats and have their background scrutinized.

“This is a political appointment,” Feinberg said. “Now I agree that there are very substantial national security concerns. But that’s already, you know, if you’re asked to do that, brace yourself one way or the other, they’ll analyze how you behaved in grammar E it doesn’t matter that it was 70 years ago, or 60 years ago. I mean, this is a political war of the kind that we’ve seen in the last decade. And it’s very, very problematic.”

A special master is an independent third party appointed by a court, or the executive branch, to perform actions on your behalf. The range of functions performed can vary greatly. In this case, Feinberg said the skills needed for the job are “unique.”

“First of all, does the special master have the résumé – highly confidential national secret information? Is there someone with that experience and that authorization to review these highly confidential documents,” Feinberg said.

He noted that in cases where he was nominated, such as the Deepwater Horizon and 9/11 cases, there was “no objection” to his appointment and “all sides” were “expecting an immediate resolution”.

These cases involved compensation for victims. The Trump case, he said, is different.

“This case will be politically charged from the start,” Feinberg said. “Will anyone be willing to prepare for the heat? Because there will be heat.”

Feinberg also questioned whether courts should play a role in assessing the security threat posed by the storage of these classified-mark documents that were found at Mar-a-Lago.

“The idea that the judiciary is going to intervene in what is essentially a highly qualified function of the executive branch of document classification – I don’t think it’s a good idea for the judiciary to get involved,” he said, noting that the issue of appointing a special master for the case will be reviewed by the court of appeal.

“And the idea that this is a judicial function, I have a lot of doubts about that,” Feinberg said. “The department and the national security agencies, the CIA, they have valuable information and insights into all of this. And I’m not sure a federal judge, district court, or appellate court really has that sophistication and experience to be able to make these guesswork conclusions. supposedly.”

The Justice Department and Trump’s legal team must come up with a list of potential candidates for special masters acceptable to both parties by Friday. Feinberg doubts there is a “consensus candidate”.

“I think it’s very likely that the judge will have to name someone she deems appropriate over the objection on one side or the other,” he told Herridge. “I don’t see the two sides coming together. But again, this will await an appeal review if there is a special master.”

Anyway, he has some advice for any of these potential candidates.

“What makes these assignments so unique and so difficult is the emotional excess, the political excess,” Feinberg said. “And I would ask, or I suggest to anyone who is thinking about this: think hard and hard. There are people over the years in the national security apparatus who have wonderful résumés, exemplary service to the people of this country. are being asked to take on a task that has the potential to tarnish that reputation and bring you into the political polarization of

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Newsrust - US Top News: Why 9/11 Special Master Kenneth Feinberg Wouldn't Take the Trump Papers Case
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