In additional criminal allegations connected to his alleged improper handling of secret documents, Donald Trump is accused of pushing a worker to remove security footage at his Florida estate.
The new indictment increases the number of charges in this case to 40 by adding one count of willful withholding of defense information and two counts of obstruction.
Mr. Trump has branded the prosecutor “deranged” and rejects any wrongdoing.
While re-running for president, he is engaged in a number of legal battles.
Carlos de Oliveira, a member of staff at the former US president’s Mar-a-Lago home, has also now been charged.
He is said to have inquired as to how the video, which according to the prosecution depicts the movement of illegally held files, could be deleted.
Along with his close assistant Walt Nauta, who was charged with two more counts of obstruction on Thursday, Mr. Trump has entered a not guilty plea.
The updated indictment describes alleged attempts to obstruct the justice department’s investigation by Mr. Nauta and Mr. de Oliviera, Mar-a-Lago’s property manager.
The Department of Justice issued a subpoena asking for surveillance footage of the basement where it said classified materials were kept, and Mr. Nauta and Mr. de Oliveira allegedly plotted to erase that footage, according to the latest court documents.
The director of information technology, a different employee, is said to have received a text message from Mr. de Oliveira stating that “the boss” wanted the server removed.
According to the records, Mr. de Oliveira later met with the employee in a cramped IT room, telling him their chat should be kept private, and then allegedly put pressure on him to comply with his request after the employee said he lacked the power to do so.
The indictment describes a situation where it is alleged that Mr. de Oliveira traveled through bushes and vegetation to reach the IT room and meet Mr. Nuata at Mar-a-Lago, a vacation destination formerly known as the Winter White House.
What will we do, Mr. de Oliveira allegedly questioned his colleague. Mr. de Oliveira’s attorney has declined to respond.
Iran was referenced by CNN and other media sources as “Country A” in the indictment, which claims the paper Mr. Trump showed the biographers may have contained plans to attack Iran.
Observe what I discovered. Isn’t it incredible? I’ve got a ton of paperwork, and this just came up. Look,” supposedly Mr. Trump stated to one of his visitors.
Special prosecutor Jack Smith, who met with Mr. Trump’s attorneys earlier in the day over a different probe into suspected attempts to tamper with the outcome of the 2020 election, is in charge of the documents case.
John Lauro and Todd Blanche, Mr. Trump’s attorneys, reportedly met with representatives at Mr. Smith’s office in Washington, DC.
The former president stated earlier this month that he anticipated being charged in that case, but on Thursday he stated that his lawyers had not been given any information regarding the timeframe.
In an email statement from his 2024 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump rejected the new allegations in the papers case.
The statement reads, “Deranged Jack Smith knows they have no case and is looking for any way to save their unlawful witch hunt.”
The latest accusation against Mr. Trump is the latest in a long line of legal issues facing the real estate and reality TV magnate.
In addition to facing civil charges in a defamation lawsuit against author E Jean Carroll, he is currently awaiting trial for a hush-money case in which he is accused of 34 felonies, and Georgia prosecutors are also debating whether to file charges for an alleged attempt to alter election results there.
Stephen Moore, a former Trump assistant, told the BBC that the accusations leveled against the former president amounted to “attacks” meant to help him win the Republican presidential nomination.
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