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28 Jul, 2023 00:47

Special counsel announces new charges against Trump

The ex-president and two aides have been accused of trying to obstruct an FBI probe in the classified-documents case against him
Special counsel announces new charges against Trump

The US special counsel prosecuting Donald Trump for alleged mishandling of classified documents has accused the former president of plotting to delete potentially incriminating security camera footage at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago. Jack Smith indicted another one of Trump’s employees for alleged involvement in covering up possible evidence in the case.

The new charges, revealed on Thursday in an updated grand jury indictment, relate to an alleged scheme by Trump and two aides – a previously indicted staffer and a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago – to delete surveillance footage that might show his employees moving boxes of documents before a possible FBI search.

Trump, who pleaded not guilty last month to 37 felony charges related to classified documents that he kept after leaving the White House in 2021, now faces two additional obstruction counts and an additional charge of willfully retaining national defense secrets. The extra charges also were filed against a Trump aide who was indicted last month, Walt Nauta

The revised indictment added a third defendant, Mar-a-Lago maintenance manager Carlos De Oliveira, who was slapped with two obstruction counts and one charge of making false statements to investigators. De Oliveira allegedly asked an unidentified employee to delete surveillance footage, saying “the boss” wanted it removed.

Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign issued a statement calling the new charges “a continued desperate and flailing attempt” by President Joe Biden’s administration to harass his predecessor and those around him. Special counsel Smith “knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt” and disrupt Trump’s candidacy in next year’s election, the campaign added.

Trump predicted last week that special counsel Jack Smith also will indict him in a separate case related to the January 2021 US Capitol riot.