Originally published August 23, 2023 8:54 am PDT
The federal investigation led by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., into former president Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents has wrapped up, according to a statement by special counsel Jack Smith, The Washington Post is reporting.
The probe, initially focusing on Trump’s dealings, broadened to also investigate alleged cover-up efforts.
Central to the latest developments is the use of two grand juries: one in Washington, D.C., and another in South Florida.
Both were deployed to examine claims that Trump unlawfully kept classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
Trump now faces charges of improperly retaining national defense information after his presidency and obstructing official attempts to recover said material.
Prosecutors defend the dual-grand jury strategy, stating it was necessary because the alleged wrongdoings spanned both regions.
Two Trump associates are under scrutiny for potentially misleading the grand jury in D.C. Carlos De Oliveira, charged with misleading FBI agents, pleaded not guilty.
In contrast, Yuscil Taveras, a tech specialist, became a key informant for the investigators after Trump’s initial indictment and remains uncharged.
Notably, after switching legal counsel, Taveras provided evidence against both Trump and Oliveira.
A significant revelation in the court filing was that both Taveras and De Oliveira allegedly provided false testimonies regarding the security footage at Mar-a-Lago.
The court document cites, “When Trump Employee 4 testified before the grand jury in the District of Columbia in March 2023, he repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall any contacts or conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago. In testimony before the same grand jury, De Oliveira likewise denied any contact with Trump Employee 4 regarding security footage.”
Subsequent to acquiring a new lawyer, Taveras withdrew his earlier testimony, implicating both Oliveira and Trump in the suspected attempt to erase Mar-a-Lago security footage, which might have shown sensitive documents being relocated.
An additional point of contention has emerged over potential conflicts of interest.
Taveras and another Trump associate, Waltine “Walt” Nauta, previously shared the same lawyer, raising eyebrows among legal observers.
Furthermore, Trump’s political action committee’s decision to cover legal fees for some witnesses has raised questions.
Defense attorneys argue that such practices are standard in corporate and political scenarios.
Outside of this case, Trump is confronting legal challenges in three separate criminal cases related to various allegations, underscoring a tumultuous legal period for the former president.
Nevertheless, Trump “seems bulletproof” among Republican voters.
A Sunday CBS News/YouGov poll conducted Aug 13–17 showed 62% of likely GOP primary voters support Trump.
Seventy-seven percent of likely GOP primary voters believe Trump’s Georgia indictment is politically motivated.
Eighty-five percent think Trump should not be prosecuted.