Former President Donald Trump was charged with two new obstruction counts and another count of willful retention of national defense information as part of a superseding indictment from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his allegedly improper retention of classified records.
“Today, a superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida that adds one defendant and four charges to the prior indictment filed against Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta,” said a Thursday statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ). “The superseding indictment adds a new Count charging Trump with one additional count of willful retention of National Defense Information.”
“Carlos de Oliveira, 56, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has been added to the obstruction conspiracy charged in the original indictment,” said the DOJ. “The superseding indictment also charges Trump, De Oliveira and Nauta with two new obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at The Mar-a-Lago Club in summer 2022.”
“Finally, the superseding indictment also charges De Oliveira with false statements and representations in a voluntary interview with the FBI on Jan. 13, 2023,” added the DOJ. “De Oliveira has been summoned to appear at 10:30 a.m. on July 31, 2023, in Courtroom #5 at the James L. King Federal Courthouse in Miami.”
The indictment alleges the defendants attempted to delete some video footage from Mar-a-Lago.
According to the indictment, De Oliveira told an unnamed Trump employee, “‘ The boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
“Trump Employee 4 responded that he would not know how to do that, and that he did not believe that he would have the rights that he would have the rights to do that,” states the indictment. “Trump Employee 4 told De Oliveira that De Oliveira would have to reach out to another employee who was a supervisor of security for Trump’s business organization.”
Trump campaign: Nothing more than a desperate, flailing attempt
A Trump campaign spokesperson, reacting to the additional charges, said: “This is 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.”
“Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden,” added the spokesperson.
Smith was appointed in November 2022 by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump’s alleged improper retention of classified records at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate.
The DOJ had been investigating the matter after the FBI conducted an unprecedented raid on his private residence in August 2022.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) told Congress in February 2022 that Trump took 15 boxes of presidential records to his residence in Florida. NARA recovered the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and “identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes.” NARA referred the matter to the Department of Justice. The boxes allegedly contained “classified national security information” and official correspondence between foreign heads of state and Trump.
Classified records were also discovered last year in President Joe Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center. The documents were from his tenure as vice president during the Obama administration and his time in the U.S. Senate. At the time, AG Garland chose U.S. Attorney John Lausch to conduct a review of the documents found at the center.
More records were located in Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home in December. However, the discoveries were not made public until this year.
Garland later appointed Robert Hur, U.S. Attorney, as special counsel to investigate President Biden’s improper retention of classified records. Hur took the reins over the investigation from Lausch. The status of Hur’s investigation remains unclear.
In the meantime, former Vice President Mike Pence also turned over classified records at his Indiana home. Last month, the Justice Department wrapped up its investigation into the matter, and Pence will not be charged.