By Kaanita Iyer, CNN
Washington (CNN) — Former Donald Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore, who departed the former president’s legal team earlier this week, said Saturday he left because of infighting among the group.
“It had nothing to do with the case itself or the client,” Parlatore told CNN’s Paula Reid on “Newsroom.”
“The real reason is because there are certain individuals that made defending the president much harder than it needed to be. In particular, there is one individual who works for him, Boris Epshteyn, who had really done everything he could to try to block us – to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the president.”
In response, a spokesperson for Trump told CNN, “Mr. Parlatore is no longer a member of the legal team. His statements regarding current members of the legal team are unfounded and categorically false.”
Parlatore played a key role in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation and organized searches for additional classified documents last year at several Trump properties and a Florida storage unit.
He also testified in December before a grand jury in the Mar-a-Lago case as Trump’s team and the Justice Department were embroiled in a dispute in which the DOJ unsuccessfully sought to hold the former president in contempt for failing to hand over all classified documents after receiving a subpoena in May 2022.
Parlatore said Saturday that Epshteyn “served as kind of a filter to prevent us from getting information to the client … In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client on certain things.”
“There were certain things like the searches that he had attempted to interfere with, and then more recently, as we’re coming down to the end of this investigation where [special counsel] Jack Smith and ultimately Merrick Garland is going to make a decision as to what to do – as we put together our defense strategy to help educate Merrick Garland as to how best to handle this matter, he was preventing us from engaging in that strategy,” Parlatore said.
Epshteyn is an attorney and adviser to Trump, who first joined his orbit as a special assistant.
He went on to advise Trump during the 2020 campaign and has remained close to him since he left office. Epshteyn has been involved in Trump’s legal response to the federal investigations into the former president, and he appeared at Trump’s arraignment in New York last month despite not being one of the lawyers on the case.
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CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.