The 60-page indictment, blow-by-blow of alleged Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage obstruction

A revised indictment filed on Thursday by special counsel Jack Smith as per his classified documents investigation reportedly details how former President Donald Trump worked with two aides to delete Mar-a-Lago video surveillance footage.

The new indictment specifically charges Mar-a-Lago’s head of maintenance Carlos de Oliveira with conspiracy to obstruct justice, hiding documents, and lying to investigators.

It also adds new charges against Trump: “attempting to ‘alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal evidence’; inducing someone else to do so; and a new count under the Espionage Act related to a classified national security document that he showed to visitors at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.,” according to The New York Times.

The story begins in January 2022, when Trump turned over 15 boxes of documents to the National Archives and Records Administration. After NARA soon realized the boxes contained classified documents, the agency alerted the Justice Department.

Four months later in May, federal authorities filed a subpoena demanding Trump turn over the remainder of the boxes of documents he had.

At this point, Trump told his valet, Walt Nauta, who’s already been indicted, to move the remaining documents to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago bedroom, as well as to his Bedminster golf club and a Mar-a-Lago storage closet.

FBI agents then visited the property on June 3rd to retrieve the documents. While there, the feds noticed the surveillance cameras. Later that month, they informed Trump’s legal team that they planned to subpoena the surveillance footage.

“On June 23, Trump – who was in Bedminster for the summer – called Oliveira, and the pair had a 24-minute conversation,” according to the Daily Mail.

The DOJ filed the subpoena the following day.

“Trump was then in the midst of a hive of activity. His attorney emailed him discussing handing over the footage, and Trump summoned Nauta to see him. Following their meeting, Nauta then changed his travel plans: he was due to go to Illinois with Trump, but instead flew down to Florida,” the Daily Mail notes.

It’s not entirely clear what happened once he arrived in Florida.

“Nauta provided inconsistent explanations to colleagues for his sudden travel to Florida. At 7:14pm on June 24, he texted one person that he would not be traveling with Trump the next day because he had a family emergency and used ‘shushing’ emojis,” the indictment papers note.

It doesn’t help that he told Trump’s Secret Service agents different stories. For example, he reportedly told one that he was back in town to check in on a family member. He told another he was in town working.

Meanwhile, Oliveira reportedly told a Mar-a-Lago valet that Nauta was back but not to tell anybody else, as it was a secret.

“As he was readying to travel, Nauta sent text messages to the director of IT at Mar-a-Lago, asking where he was. Oliveira also contacted the IT director, saying Nauta might get in touch as he may need assistance. The IT director said he was entertaining friends visiting from New York City, but was available if needed,” the Daily Mail notes.

Once Nauta arrived back at Mar-a-Lago, he and Oliveira reportedly met up and inspected the surveillance cameras.

“Nauta and De Oliveira went to the security guard booth where surveillance video is displayed on monitors, walked with a flashlight through the tunnel where the storage room was located, and pointed out surveillance cameras,” the indictment notes.

Then on June 27th, Oliveira met with the unnamed IT director, told him to keep their conversation quiet, and then asked how long Mar-a-Lago’s computer servers would retain captured surveillance footage.

When the IT director said 45 days, Oliveira then told them “that ‘the boss‘ wanted the server deleted,” the indictment notes.

The IT director reportedly replied that “he would not know how to do that, and that he did not believe he would have the rights to do that.” He added that Oliveira would need to speak with the security supervisor.

After all this, Oliveira and Nauta reportedly met up privately to speak.

The Daily Mail notes that their alleged efforts to delete the surveillance footage ultimately failed: “the indictment states that, by July, the FBI and Justice Department had obtained the footage.”

Read the new indictments here.


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