- Trump’s employee accuses him of tampering with evidence.
- Previously denied recalling any conversations about security footage.
- Court did not charge employee in Mar-a-Lago case.
Prosecutors on Tuesday announced that an employee of Donald Trump, who was presented as a witness in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case has implicated him after switching lawyers, according to a court filing.
As per a BBC report, Yuscil Taveras, an IT director who has been referred to as “Trump Employee 4” in court documents, changed his testimony after changing attorneys.
Prosecutors say that Taveras now accuses Trump and two of his allies of “efforts to delete security camera footage,” while the 77-year-old is facing 40 charges in the case.
Trump, his adviser Walt Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira have all entered not-guilty pleas in connection with mishandling classified documents at Mar-a-Lago residence and attempting to cover it up by erasing security footage, the BBC reported.
Taveras, whose former lawyer also represents Trump’s co-defendant Nauta, changed lawyers after being alerted by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is in charge of the case, that he was being investigated for lying.
During grand jury testimony in March this year, Taveras “repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall any contacts or conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago”.
Prosecutors claimed to have evidence to prove that De Oliveira had instructed Taveras to remove the CCTV footage as they followed the movement of boxes carrying the documents inside the resort.
After prosecutors uncovered a conflict of interest for Taveras’ attorney Stanley Woodward, who was receiving financial support from Trump’s Save America political action organisation, Chief Judge James Boasberg, who is in charge of the federal grand jury, gave Taveras the services of a public defender.
The filing said: “Advising Trump Employee 4 to correct his sworn testimony would result in testimony incriminating Woodward’s other client, Nauta; but permitting Trump Employee 4’s false testimony to stand uncorrected would leave Trump Employee 4 exposed to criminal charges for perjury.”
Taveras informed Chief Judge Boasberg on July 5 that he would be accepting the offer of legal aid and no longer wished to be represented by Woodward.
“Immediately after receiving new counsel, Trump Employee 4 retracted his prior false testimony and provided information that implicated Nauta, [Carlos] De Oliveira, and Trump in efforts to delete security camera footage, as set forth in the superseding indictment,” the court filing says.
While Taveras is not charged in the case, which is scheduled for trial next May, Trump faces criminal charges in three other cases that include Trump’s efforts to overturn the presidential elections in 2021 after Joe Biden won the election.
Additionally, Trump also faces a trial in New York in March 2024 for allegedly making hush money payments to a porn star in a bid to cheat campaign finance rules ahead of the 2016 election.