Donald Trump Faces Four Additional Charges in The Mar-a-Lago Classified Documents Case
Former President Donald Trump is now facing four new charges in the Justice Department’s handling of classified documents after his White House leave. The new charges were added to the federal indictment on Thursday, including new obstruction counts and willful retention of national defense information, according to AP News.
The document, filed in the Southern District of Florida, alleges that the former President was involved in an attempt to delete security video from his Mar-a-Lago residence. The indictment also charges a newly-charged defendant, Carlos de Oliveira, a property manager at the Mar-a-Lago residence. De Oliveira denied any involvement in moving boxes, telling the FBI, “I never saw anything” according to official documents. His attorney, John Irving, declined to comment.
Prosecutors say that Trump was involved in an effort to delete security camera video that would have shown his employees moving boxes of documents before an FBI search of the classified documents, saying “I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes.” According to the indictment, Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta, and De Oliveira met at a security guard booth where security video was displayed on monitors. De Oliveira then stepped into an audio closet with another employee, Yuscil Taveras, and told him that “the boss” wanted the server deleted. Taveras said that he did not believe he would have the right to do that and would need to speak with the supervisor of security.
Trump’s attorneys have argued that he cannot get a fair trial before the 2024 election, while prosecutors wanted the case to go to trial in December. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon compromised by scheduling the trial to begin in May. If that date holds, the trial would not start until after the 2024 Republican presidential nominee is announced, but before that person is officially nominated at the Republican National Convention.
However, the addition of De Oliveira to the case may lead to a delay of the trial’s start date.
“It will be nearly impossible to keep all of the scheduled deadlines with a new defendant coming in,” said David Oscar Markus, a criminal defense attorney in Miami who is not involved in the case, as reported by NBC News.
In a separate court filing, prosecutors wrote that the new charges “should not disturb” the May trial date, and steps to ensure that it is not delayed. However, the case is still in its early stages, and it is not yet clear how it will play out.
These new charges are in addition to the 34 felony counts that Trump has pleaded not guilty to. The former President continues to face legal issues, including a civil trial set to take place in a New York state court against Attorney General Letitia James, who is suing Trump and the Trump Organization for allegedly misleading banks and tax authorities about the value of assets.
Featured Image: 21 February 2016: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to several thousand supporters at a rally in Atlanta, Georgia.
— Photo via actionsports