Mar-a-Lago IT Employee Alters Testimony in Special Counsel Probe

04:39 23.08.2023

In a major development in the criminal case against former President Donald Trump, a witness has retracted their previous false testimony and implicated Trump in the hoarding of classified documents. The witness, identified as an IT employee at Mar-a-Lago, switched lawyers last month and provided new information to the Justice Department, which led to an updated indictment against Trump and two others. The witness originally told a grand jury in Washington that they could not recall any conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago. However, after being warned by prosecutors that they were a target of the investigation and after receiving a new lawyer, the witness changed their testimony and provided information that formed the basis of the revised indictment. Prosecutors have described the witness interaction in a court filing that seeks a hearing in Florida to address potential conflicts of interest involving the defense lawyer, who also represents one of the co-defendants. The Justice Department also explained its use of grand juries in both Washington and Florida, stating that the Washington grand jury was used to investigate potential false statements by witnesses. The trial for the classified documents case has been set for May 2024, and Trump has pleaded not guilty.

In another legal battle, Trump is facing prosecution by Special Counsel Jack Smith over efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. He is also facing a criminal case in Georgia over attempts to subvert the state's vote and another case in New York related to hush money payments to a porn actor. These cases add to the mounting legal challenges Trump is facing since leaving office.

The employee who changed their grand jury testimony in the documents case is Yuscil Taveras, an IT worker at Mar-a-Lago. Taveras initially denied any knowledge of conversations about the security footage but later retracted their false testimony and provided information that implicated Trump, his aide Walt Nauta, and property manager Carlos De Oliveira in efforts to delete the footage. Taveras' revised statements were crucial to the decision to indict De Oliveira on charges related to the alleged deletion of security camera footage.

The witness's decision to change their testimony came after concerns were raised about their lawyer, Stanley Woodward, who also represents Nauta and other witnesses in the special counsel probe. Woodward's fees are being paid by Trump's Save America PAC, which has settled more than $21 million in legal fees for Trump and several witnesses. Prosecutors have asked the judge to inquire about potential conflicts of interest due to Woodward's representation of multiple individuals connected to the case.

The use of grand juries in both Washington and Florida has also raised questions. Prosecutors stated that they continued using the Washington grand jury even after charges were filed in Florida to investigate potential false statements by witnesses. The Washington grand jury recently completed its term.

These developments come as Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing and criticize the prosecution as politically motivated. The cases against him add to the legal challenges he is currently facing, further complicating his post-presidential life.

/ Wednesday, August 23, 2023, 4:39 AM /

themes:  Donald Trump  Florida  Georgia  Washington  New York (state)

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