Special counsel investigating false statements in Mar-a-Lago case; Prosecutors say Trump staffer changed his story



CNN

Special counsel Jack Smith’s office continues to investigate whether two of Donald Trump’s staffers lied to a grand jury as part of a criminal investigation into the former president’s possession of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. .

The filing provides a very straightforward explanation of how prosecutors obtained the information used in the retrial indictment.

Prosecutors believe unindicted IT employee Yucil Taveras and Trump-accused Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira gave false testimony about their alleged attempts to delete incriminating security camera footage from the Florida club. According to the filing.

They say Taveras — referred to only as “Trump employee 4” in court documents — “repeatedly denied or recalled any interactions or conversations about security footage at Mar-a-Lago,” despite evidence to the contrary. De Oliveira reportedly told prosecutors the same thing.

But more recently, after switching lawyers, prosecutors say Taveras changed his story about efforts by Trump, De Oliveira and their other co-defendant, Walt Nauta, to delete the security footage.

Both Taveras and De Oliveira are now being investigated for their earlier statements, prosecutors disclosed in filings.

De Oliveira and Trump aide Nauta are accused of making false statements during voluntary interviews with the FBI about whether they saw boxes of classified documents being moved around Mar-a-Lago. They, along with Trump, have pleaded not guilty.

The filing Tuesday was between the attorneys and Nauta’s attorney over how the court should handle what Smith said in Nauta’s representation. Prosecutors flagged in court that Nauta’s lawyer had represented two witnesses who could testify at any final hearing.

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Both Taveras and Nauta were previously represented by attorney Stanley Woodward. Prosecutors argued that it created a conflict of interest if Taveras redacted his testimony about efforts to delete security footage, because he would incriminate Nauta.

When Taveras was advised of the conflict, he became a public defender, the filing states. That’s when prosecutors allege Taveras changed his story. Many of the details he provided have been used in additional indictments in the case, and prosecutors indicate Taveras will be cross-examined by his former attorney if he testifies at trial.

In a court filing last week, Woodward pushed back from prosecutors’ accusations that his previous representation presented a conflict, telling the court that he should take a narrower approach to the issue than the broad conflict investigation advocates advocate.

He declined to comment to CNN on Tuesday.

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