Donald Trump Faces Uphill Defense in Mar-a-Lago Case – Former President Donald Trump may have dug himself into a hole with his handling of the classified documents he took with him from the White House in 2021.
Donald Trump Has Big Problems Now
The superseding indictment that came out this week suggests the former president may have obstructed justice by allegedly ordering the deletion of security camera footage.
It notes that the FBI recovered 102 documents with classification markings ranging from confidential to Top Secret, including 27 in Trump’s office at Mar-a-Lago. Documents included presidential intelligence briefings, military contingency plans, and assessments of foreign capabilities.
Special Counsel Jack Smith alleges in his superseding indictment that Trump ordered the erasure of security camera footage to prevent it from being reviewed by the FBI and the grand jury investigating him.
His former attorney Ty Cobb, who represented him during the Mueller Russiagate probe, told CNN the Justice Department’s case against the former president is open-and-shut.
“I think this original indictment was engineered to last a thousand years and now this superseding indictment will last an antiquity,” Ty Cobb said. “This is such a tight case, the evidence is so overwhelming.”
Trump Accused of Obstructing Justice
This superseding indictment names Trump, his valet Walt Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliviera as co-conspirators in a conspiracy to obstruct justice by deleting security recordings at Mar-a-Lago.
The new indictment claims that the Justice Department emailed Trump’s business organization on Jun. 24, 2022, demanding that “’[a]ny and all surveillance records, videos, images, photographs and/or CCTV from internal cameras’ at certain locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club, including ‘on ground floor (basement),’ from January I0, 2022, to June 24, 2022” be handed over. It alleges that three days later on Jun. 27, 2022, Trump ordered a Mar-a-Lago property manager named Carlos De Oliviera to ensure the server containing the potentially incriminating video would be deleted.
Prosecutors claim they have more direct evidence that Trump orchestrated the effort to conceal evidence from the Justice Department and the FBI, according to CNN.
Trump allegedly told De Oliviera following the Mar-a-Lago raid that he would get him an attorney. De Oliviera is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday.
Trump’s Save America PAC has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to law firms that shepherded Nauta, De Oliviera, and Yuscil Taveras, who oversaw camera surveillance at Mar-a-Lago through the federal investigative process.
The new counts in the superseding indictment bring the number of offenses Trump faces to 42 in the documents case.
Cobb: Trump Went Behind His Lawyers’ Backs
Cobb notes that Trump did not just go behind the backs of the prosecutors when he had the evidence destroyed, he also went behind the back of his own lawyers who would have told him not to do what he did.
“So this is Trump going not just behind the back of the prosecutors, this is Trump going behind the back of his own lawyers and dealing with two people” – Nauta and De Oliveira – “who are extremely loyal”.
“It’s very difficult to imagine how Trump said that his lawyers met with Jack Smith today to explain to him that he hadn’t done anything wrong [Trump’s claim in the election subversion case], on the same day that Jack Smith produces this evidence of overwhelming evidence of additional wrongdoing,” Cobb said. “So this is, I think, par for the course.”
This still does not include the counts he will be indicted for in connection with his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. All indications are that Trump will be indicted in Georgia under that state’s RICO law for his effort to intimidate Georgia election officials into changing the vote in his favor.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.