According to Trump, the 11,000 documents taken from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI were rightfully in his possession, including about 100 classification markings that suggest they contain some of the nation's most closely guarded intelligence.
Dearie was not happy with the effort by Trump's lawyers to resist his request for proof that Trump tried to declassify the documents. Without evidence from Trump, Dearie said his only basis to judge the classification level of the records was the fact that they all have markings that designate them as highly sensitive national security secrets.
At the beginning of the 40-minute hearing, Dearie said that he would not interfere with the review he had agreed to do. The judge seemed to be referring to vague assertions of declassification by Trump's side.
Dearie said that he couldn't allow litigation strategy to dictate the outcome of his recommendations.
If the government says certain documents are classified and Trump's side disagrees but doesn't offer proof to challenge that, what will the judge do?
Dearie said that it was the end of the matter. What is the purpose of the court?
James Trusty is one of Trump's attorneys. He said that it was going a little beyond what Judge Cannon contemplated.
Dearie replied, "I was taken aback by your comment that I'm going beyond what Judge Cannon instructed me to do."
Trusty said that the former president shouldn't have to defend himself against criminal charges that haven't been filed.
It's not about playing games. It's about not seeing the documents. Trusty said that they weren't in a position to fully disclose a substantive defense. It shouldn't be necessary for us to have to make statements.
The former president's team wanted to have your cake and eat it.
Trusty argued that the National Archives should not be involved in Dearie's review because it is very politicized.
Trusty told the judge that the Archives had a political, partisan bent and that it had a role in permitting a former national security adviser to the president.
The man who pleaded guilty to a charge of handling classified information died in 2015.
Trusty thinks their conduct in this case is politicized.
The Archives personnel were painted with a broad brush by the statements made by the Trump team, but Dearie said he understood the concerns of the Trump team.
The judge said he takes national security concerns very seriously and that it might not be necessary as he would like to resolve the dispute without looking at the classified information.
It isn't just a matter of getting the clearance. It is a matter of need to know. You'll know if you need to know.
According to Trusty, the Justice Department is trying to get information about a case involving a former president.
The government says the president's lawyers don't have a need to know.
The tension between Dearie and Trump's legal team was a sign that the former president wanted the special master to review the documents from Mar-a-Lago. Two other names were offered by prosecutors, but they chose Dearie.
Trump's legal team entered the Brooklyn courthouse about a half hour before the hearing, braving jeers from a small group of protesters.
Inside Dearie's courtroom, the atmosphere was more subdued. One of Trump's attorneys made a joke before the session started that the former president's team had not agreed to this set of jurors.
Dearie spoke clearly with the parties. Since no criminal charges have been brought against Trump, the burden of proof is on him to back up any assertion of privilege or other protected interest in the documents.
The process of getting security clearances was requested by Trump's lawyers.
The judge was told that some of the papers were classified. She said that members of the team investigating possible offenses have not yet been able to view some of the sensitive documents.
Whether any of the records taken from Trump's home are classified may be a side issue. The three potential crimes the Justice Department is investigating don't depend on whether the material at Mar-a-Lago was classified, according to the department.
In light of a separate court filing by Trump, who is urging a federal appeals court to keep in place Cannon's order blocking the Justice Department from advance its criminal investigation into the seized records, Dearie's comments on classification of the records were particularly noteworthy.
It was the Justice Department that had to show the documents were classified, not Trump, according to the filing. In his courtroom, Dearie said that the only thing that mattered was the markings on the documents and not anything else.
She said officials would probably consider other options at that point.
The schedule to pick a contractor for scanning the 11,000 documents was one of the concessions Dearie offered Tuesday. Cannon ordered Trump to pay the bill.
After Trusty pleaded for more time to assess the costs and run them by Trump, Dearie relented.
It is you who has it. Dearie said it was Friday.
Dearie made it clear that he was going to plow through the documents and get his recommendations to Cannon on time.
The veteran judge said that they would proceed with what he called responsible dispatch. We have a lot to do in a short amount of time.