Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Former Mar-a-Lago worker describes moving materials in Trump classified docs case

By 37ci3 Mar12,2024

A man who says he worked at Mar-a-Lago is going public, recalling the events that led to the FBI’s search. Donald Trump‘s residence in Florida on the allegation that the former president behaved wrongly confidential documents.

one Interview with CNNBrian Butler said he helped Trump’s aide Walt Nauta Load approximately 10 to 15 boxes onto Trump’s plane at West Palm Beach Airport, near his resort, in June 2022 when Justice Department representatives met with Trump and his lawyers about unreturned classified materials.

Butler, whom CNN identified as “5 Trump associates” in the indictment filed by the special counsel Jack Smithreferring to photographs in the federal indictment, said the boxes were “the boxes in the indictment, the white banker’s boxes.”

Butler, who told CNN he worked at Trump’s Florida resort for two decades, declined a request for comment Monday. NBC News has not independently confirmed Butler’s identity as “Trump Employee 5,” one of the employees not named in the indictment.

This image, included in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes of records kept on stage at the White and Gold Ballroom at Trump's Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach. Trump is charged with 37 felonies.  Friday, June 9, 2023, mishandling classified documents, according to an unsealed indictment.  (AP via Department of Justice)
Record boxes kept on stage at the White and Gold Ballroom at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, pictured in the indictment against former President Donald Trump.Ministry of Justice through AP

Butler said in an interview that he was unaware the boxes contained potentially classified material.

“I had no idea. I mean, we were just taking them out of the Escalade, stacking them up,” Butler told CNN, adding that he told federal investigators about the movement of the boxes. “I remember they were all piled on top of each other, and then we’d lift them up to the pilots.”

CNN reported that Butler had considered going public for months, but ultimately wanted to share the facts of the case with those who had doubts. Three months into the FBI search, Butler left Mar-a-Lago in part because he wanted to continue his work as a club valet and manager, CNN reported.

Mar-a-Lago in June 2022, the indictment alleges maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira asked “Trump Employee 5” not to tell anyone about Nauta’s trip because Nauta “wanted the trip to be private.”

The indictment also alleged that De Oliveira told the employee, “Nauta wanted De Oliveira to speak with Trump’s 4th employee to see how long the camera footage had been stored.”

NBC News reported “Employee 4” is Yuscil Taveras, and part of the superseding indictment suggests Taveras may cooperate with prosecutors. Prosecutors described a conversation in which De Oliveira told Taveras that “the boss wanted the server deleted.”

The replaces the indictment He accused Trump of being part of a plan to remove security video at Mar-a-Lago.

Neither De Oliveira’s legal team nor the Trump campaign immediately responded to requests for comment about Butler’s interview on Monday. Nauta’s legal team and Special Counsel Smith’s office declined to comment.

CNN reported that Trump’s lawyer declined to comment. De Oliveira’s lawyer told CNN: “We look forward to hearing more about Mr. Butler’s version of events when he is sworn and convicted of perjury in the courtroom, and we refuse to judge this case in the media.” .”

Among the charges against Trump is the willful withholding of national defense information. He and his two co-defendants, Nauta and De Oliveira, were also charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.

The indictment was based in part on classified documents discovered by FBI agents during a search of Mar-a-Lago In August 2022.

Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira pleaded not guilty. The judge presiding over the case first ordered the start of the process May 20 although the delay is expected.

Special adviser Robert Hur He is set to testify before the Republican-led House of Representatives on Tuesday in separate classified documents investigations. Hur last month declined to prosecute President Joe Biden for his handling of classified material.

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By 37ci3

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