Sat. May 25th, 2024

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Former US president Donald Trump. AFP/File
Former US president Donald Trump. AFP/File

A significant development has occurred in the investigation of the Trump Mar-a-Lago document case as a third individual, Carlos De Oliveira, now faces charges. 

Special counsel Jack Smith announced on Thursday that he has brought additional charges against former President Donald Trump in the ongoing case concerning mishandling of classified documents from his time in the White House. The updated indictment alleges that two of Trump’s employees, his aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira, tried to delete security camera footage from the resort following a subpoena from the Justice Department.

According to the indictment, De Oliveira informed the resort’s director of IT that “the boss” wanted the server deleted. Trump now faces one more charge of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts, bringing the total number of criminal charges against him to 40.

The indictment states that Trump willfully kept a top-secret document, which CNN reports to be related to military activity in Iran. The document was discussed by Trump during a recorded meeting with biographers in Bedminster, New Jersey, in July 2021.

Both Nauta and De Oliveira have also faced new charges in connection with the case. De Oliveira was charged with lying to the FBI about moving boxes at Trump’s golf club.

As previously reported by CNN, surveillance footage provided to the Justice Department showed Nauta and De Oliveira moving boxes of documents around Mar-a-Lago just before Trump’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, conducted a search for classified documents. Although Corcoran handed over 38 classified documents he found during the search, the FBI discovered more than 100 additional classified documents during its own search at Mar-a-Lago in August.

The Justice Department suspects that “government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room.”

Trump and Nauta had already been charged last month and both pleaded not guilty.

De Oliveira has spoken to investigators earlier this year, and his phone has been seized for further examination. Both Nauta’s and De Oliveira’s attorneys declined to comment on the recent developments.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Trump dismissed the charges as “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”

Separately, Trump’s defense lawyers and Smith had a meeting in Washington, DC, to discuss the investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. No specific guidance was given to Trump’s team regarding the timing of a possible indictment.

The grand jury in Washington is still examining evidence related to the special counsel’s probe into election subversion efforts by Trump and his allies. Carlos De Oliveira has been summoned to appear in federal court in Miami on July 31 at 10:30am ET.

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