A recently unsealed indictment has brought forth new charges against former President Donald Trump in the classified documents case. The charges allege that Trump instructed a staff member to delete camera footage at his Florida property with the intention of obstructing the federal investigation into his possession of the records.
The updated indictment not only adds new counts of obstruction but also includes charges of willful retention of national defense information, increasing Trump’s legal risks and potential consequences. This comes alongside the possibility of facing another indictment in Washington related to his actions to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The investigation into Donald Trump has been extensive, resulting in charges being brought last month. Initially, a 38-count indictment involved Trump and his valet, Walt Nauta, with the surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago being a key aspect of the investigation. Prosecutors allege that the footage showed Nauta moving boxes of documents just one day before a visit by FBI and Justice Department officials.
A Trump spokesperson dismissed the new charges as an attempt by the Biden administration to “harass President Trump and those around him” and influence the 2024 presidential race.
The revised charges in the indictment center on surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago. Trump is accused of requesting the deletion of the footage after FBI and Justice Department investigators visited in June 2022 to collect classified documents he had taken from the White House a year earlier. A subpoena was issued for the footage as part of the investigation.
According to the indictment, a Mar-a-Lago property manager, Carlos De Oliveira, was quoted as saying that the “boss” wanted the footage deleted. De Oliveira was charged with obstruction and false statements related to an FBI interview.
The indictment also charges Trump with an additional count of willfully retaining national defense information related to a July 2021 interview at his New Jersey golf club. In the interview, he discussed U.S. military plans to attack another country. Trump returned the document to the federal government in January 2022.
This recent development in the prosecution’s strategy charges Trump not only for failing to return the document when requested but also for retaining a highly sensitive classified document after leaving office. Both Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty to the charges.