Prosecutors on Thursday announced additional charges against Donald Trump in the classified documents case, arguing that the former president asked a staffer to delete camera footage at his Florida estate in an effort to obstruct federal investigation.
The indictment includes new counts of obstruction and willful retention of national defense information.
The prosecutors also added a third defendant to the case, Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira, who they say schemed with Mr Trump and his valet, Walt Nauta, to conceal the footage from investigators.
Who is Carlos De Oliveira?
Not much is known about the 56-year-old property manager who reportedly faces multiple charges such as trying to obstruct justice; "corruptly" altering, destroying, mutilating and concealing records and documents and making false statements and representations.
According to court documents, Mr De Oliveira helped another defendant in the case move about 30 boxes of documents from the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence into a storage room. The boxes were then presented to Mr Trump's attorney as though they were the entirety of the documents he possessed.
Mr Trump demanded that security footage at his Florida estate be deleted after investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he took with him after he left the White House.
Mr De Oliveira took another employee to a small room known as an “audio closet" and told the other employee the conversation should remain between the two of them, according to the indictment.
He asked the employee how many days the server retained surveillance footage and said “the boss” wanted the server deleted. When the employee said he didn’t believe he was able to do that, Mr De Oliveira insisted the “boss” wanted it done, asking, “What are we going to do?"
A man claiming to be Mr De Oliveira’s landlord told WPTV that he knew him as a longtime Mar-a-Lago employee.
Neighbours described him as “a nice guy who kept to himself and played golf”.
"I can't even think how he could be involved," neighbour Raymond Brion told the television network.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and a spokesperson dismissed the new charges as “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt” by the Joe Biden administration “to harass president Trump and those around him” and to influence the 2024 presidential race.
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