Special Counsel Jack Smith brought charges against an additional Mar-a-Lago employee on Thursday, bringing the number of those charged in Trump’s alleged attempt to retain national security records to three.
The new defendant is Carlos De Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker.
Smith is bringing charges of false statements against De Oliveira, and is bringing new charges against co-defendant Walt Nauta and Trump. They include charges of corruptly altering or destroying a record and altering or destroying an object.
De Oliveira also faces a charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice, which Trump and Nauta also face.
Prosecutors also added another charge of willful retention against Trump.
The indictment’s new allegations add yet another level of ham-fistedness to an already bizarre and at times comic scheme. Now, Trump is accused of directing his employees to delete security footage right after receiving a grand jury subpoena for the same.
The superseding indictment lays out multiple instances in which Trump himself allegedly discussed the security footage. It also paints a picture of a fixation by Trump on the location of his boxes, and alleges examples in which Mar-a-Lago employees scurried around at Trump’s behest in response to the investigation. Some employees allegedly call him “the boss.”
De Oliveira first came onto the radar of those following the probe for reportedly using the pool to flood a room which held servers that had footage for security cameras at Mar-a-Lago. That incident is not described in the indictment.
But prosecutors outline a series of events in which they allege that De Oliveira helped Nauta move documents away from the area of a search that Trump’s attorneys were conducting in response to a grand jury subpoena.
Trump, prosecutors say, also dispatched De Oliveira to ask an employee to delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago as investigators examined the case.
“De Oliveira told Trump Employee 4 that their convo should remain between the two of them,” the updated indictment reads. “De Oliveira told Trump Employee 4 that ‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
Prosecutors also now accuse Trump of possessing the reported Iran war plan at Bedminster. It’s not clear what became of the record. The new count for Trump of willful retention of national defense information is for what prosecutors describe as a “presentation concerning military activity in a foreign country.”
Trump allegedly showed the material in question to writers working on Mark Meadows’ memoir while at Bedminster in July 2021.
Most of the new detail in the superseding indictment comes in a section that chronicles how the trio — Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira — allegedly conspired to delete security footage.
Prosecutors sent a subpoena for security footage recorded near a Mar-a-Lago storage room to an attorney for Trump’s businesses on June 22.
Per the indictment, Nauta spoke with Trump on June 24, and immediately traveled to Mar-a-Lago.
In one text before Nauta’s arrival, De Oliveira allegedly wrote to another employee that Nauta said he “needs you for something.”
“He reached out but he didn’t say what he wanted,” the unnamed person allegedly replied.
From there, Nauta and De Oliveira allegedly spoke, and De Oliveira allegedly told another employee to keep Nauta’s visit a secret.
During the visit, the pair allegedly walked through Mar-a-Lago tunnels with a flashlight, before requesting that they have the IT room to themselves.
De Oliveira then allegedly took another unnamed Trump employee to an “audio closet,” where he allegedly told the person that “the boss” wanted the server deleted.
The unnamed employee purportedly refused to help, saying he didn’t have the rights to delete the server.
De Oliveira reiterated that the “boss” wanted the server deleted, prosecutors say.
“What are we going to do?” De Oliveira allegedly asked the employee.
The indictment is silent on whether De Oliveira found a way to make it happen.
After the August 2022 FBI searches on Mar-a-Lago, the loyalty checks reportedly began. In one Signal chat cited by prosecutors, another unnamed Trump employee allegedly confirmed in a message group that included Nauta and an unnamed PAC representative that De Oliveira was loyal. Trump allegedly called De Oliveira the same day to tell him that he would hire an attorney for him.
Read the indictment below:
John Light contributed to this report.