- An IT official has been asked to remove surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department said.
- These images would show Donald Trump’s aide moving boxes containing classified documents.
- The IT manager entered into a cooperation agreement and testified before a federal grand jury.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A director of information technology at Mar-a-Lago reached a cooperative agreement with federal prosecutors last summer as part of their investigation into Donald Trump’s retention of classified documents in the owned by the former president in Florida, according to the worker’s ex-lawyer.
Stanley Woodward, the IT manager’s former lawyer, made the revelation in a court filing responding to Justice Department arguments that he had a potential conflict of interest due to his representation of another key figure in the investigation. of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s valet Walt Nauta.
CNN previously identified the worker as Yuscil Taveras.
A cooperation agreement usually requires a person to participate in a criminal investigation in exchange for not being prosecuted. In that case, Taveras testified before a federal grand jury that returned an updated indictment in July against Trump, Nauta and another Mar-a-Lago employee, Carlos De Oliveira, accusing the men of conspiring to remove surveillance footage from the property. All three pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges that De Oliveira, the Mar-a-Lago property manager, told Taveras – identified in court documents as ‘Trump employee 4’ – that ‘the boss’ wanted the footage removed. monitoring. The Department of Justice is not claiming that the footage was actually deleted and, in fact, a security video purporting to show Nauta moving boxes in and out of a storage room is a critical accusation in the indictment.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s team said in a court filing last month that the IT director retracted his “prior false testimony” after being told last summer of a potential conflict over Nauta’s representation by Woodward.
Taveras had previously testified before a grand jury in March that he did not recall any conversations regarding the security footage, prosecutors say.
“When Trump Employee 4 testified before the District of Columbia Grand Jury in March 2023, he repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall any contact or conversation regarding Mar-a-Lago security footage. “, prosecutors said in court documents.
Taveras then changed lawyers and provided new incriminating information in the run-up to the new indictment, or replacement, in July, prosecutors said.
Woodward, in a court filing this week, rejected that version of events, saying he appreciated the opportunity for his client to have a new attorney from the federal defender’s office and that the client was offered a cooperation agreement immediately after declaring that he wanted to change lawyers.
He also said his client had explicitly stated that he had not been induced to testify falsely.