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Special counsel brings more charges against Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case


By Tierney Sneed, Marshall Cohen and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) — Special counsel Jack Smith on Thursday brought additional charges against former President Donald Trump in the case alleging mishandling of classified documents from his time in the White House.

Prosecutors allege in the updated indictment that two Trump employees – aide Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira – attempted to delete security camera footage at the former president’s resort after the Justice Department issued a subpoena for it.

De Oliveira told the director of IT at the resort “that ‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted,” according to the indictment.

Trump, who had already faced 37 criminal charges, was charged with one additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts.

Trump, according to the indictment, was charged with willfully retaining a top-secret document that was a “presentation concerning military activity in a foreign country,” which CNN reported was Iran. Trump had discussed the document with biographers during a taped meeting at Bedminster, New Jersey, in July 2021, the indictment said.

New charges were also filed against Nauta, and De Oliveira, who was added to the case, was charged with lying to the FBI about moving boxes at Trump’s golf club.

US District Judge Aileen Cannon – the Fort Pierce, Florida-based Trump-appointed judge who will preside over the classified documents case prosecutors have brought against the former president – has set a schedule for the proceedings that would allow for a trial to start in May 2024. Smith said in a court filing submitted with the superseding indictment Thursday night that the new charges were no reason to push back that schedule.

As CNN previously reported, surveillance footage turned over to the Justice Department showed Nauta and De Oliveira, 56, moving document boxes around the resort after the Justice Department first subpoenaed Trump for classified documents last May, including into a storage room just before Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran searched it for classified documents.

Justice Department officials came to Mar-a-Lago the day after Corcoran’s search, and Corcoran handed over 38 classified documents he had found. Yet the FBI retrieved more than 100 more classified documents when it searched Mar-a-Lago in August, both in the storage room and Trump’s office.

The Justice Department has subsequently said in court that it believes “government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room.”

Trump and Nauta were previously charged last month and have pleaded not guilty.

De Oliveira spoke to investigators earlier this year and his phone had been seized.

Nauta’s attorney declined to comment to CNN on Thursday. John Irving, a defense attorney for De Oliveira, also declined to comment.

Irving is among the lawyers whose law firm has received nearly $200,000 in payments for legal services from Donald Trump’s Save America PAC.

De Oliveira has been summoned to appear at 10:30 a.m. ET on July 31 in federal court in Miami.

In a statement, a Trump spokesman called the charges “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”

Separately on Thursday, Trump’s defense lawyers and Smith met in Washington, DC, to discuss the investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

No guidance was given to Trump’s team about timing of a possible indictment, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The grand jury in Washington continues to hear evidence from the special counsel’s probe into election subversion efforts by Trump and his allies.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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