WASHINGTON – Special counsel Jack Smith leveled new charges against former President Donald Trump on Thursday – including an allegation that he sought to delete surveillance video – and indicted a second Trump aide for obstruction of justice in the hoarding of classified information.
Carlos De Oliveira, an employee of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, is accused of lying about helping indicted aide Walt Nauta hide subpoenaed boxes of classified information around Trump’s home, according to a superseding indictment filed in the Florida-based case.
The revised indictment said Trump and others sought to erase security video of rooms in which boxes were kept. It said they tried to get another unnamed person to “delete security camera footage at the Mar-a-Lago Club to prevent the footage from being provided to a federal grand jury.”
“DE OLIVEIRA told Trump Employee 4 that ‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted,” the indictment said.
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In June, a federal grand jury indicted Trump and Nauta on obstruction charges related to Trump’s handling of classified material after he left office. The revised indictment adds new allegations against Trump and Nauta.
The new charges against the twice-indicted Trump include attempts to “alter, destroy, mutilate or conceal evidence,” and inducing others to do so.
The grand jury also added a charge of willfully retaining secret national defense information and showing it to other people. The documents in question were related to military attack plans on Iran, a subject Trump discussed with visitors to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2021.
Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded innocent to the obstruction charges. Trump has denounced the entire investigation as a politically motivated attempt to derail his 2024 presidential campaign.
The Trump campaign attacked the superseding indictment in a statement calling the new charges against the former president’s employees “a continued desperate and flailing attempt” by the Biden administration to “harass President Trump and those around him.”
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Trump said of the superseding indictment: “They’re harassing my company, they’re harassing my family and by far, least importantly of all, they’re harassing me.”
Smith “knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against” Biden in 2024, the campaign statement said.
Florida-based U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon has scheduled a trial on the documents case for May 20, 2024. That is after most of the primaries that will determine whether Trump is again nominated for the presidency.
The revised indictment came down the same day that Trump attorneys met with Smith’s office about another case, an investigation into efforts to overturn Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump said this month that he received a target letter and could be charged in the case that also involves the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.
The former president also faces a March trial in New York City on state charges involving hush money.
Trump and his attorneys have indicated they may seek to delay all of his trials until after the presidential election on Nov. 5, 2024.
What is a superseding indictment?
Smith filed a superseding indictment against Trump on Thursday in the case regarding his alleged mishandling of classified documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago.
A superseding indictment is a formal criminal complaint brought by a grand jury to replace an original indictment. Superseding indictments usually add or remove defendants or add and remove charges from the original indictment.
In the case of the superseding indictment against Trump, it brought new charges against the former president and brought charges against a Mar-a-Lago employee who was not charged in the initial indictment.
Prosecutors usually file superseding indictments after they obtain new information or evidence that warrants changes to the original indictment.
Who is Carlos de Oliveira?
Carlos De Oliveira is a maintenance employee at Trump’s resort, Mar-a-Lago.
De Oliveira, 56, served as the property manager of Mar-a-Lago since January 2022, according to the superseding indictment filed Thursday. Before his promotion to property manager, de Oliveira previously worked as a valet at the Florida resort.
It is unclear when De Oliveira began working for Trump as a valet at Mar-a-Lago.
De Oliveira is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements, according to Thursday’s indictment