Donald Trump Tried to Corrupt Attorney in Classified Docs Case—Prosecutor


FEBRUARY 27, 2024

Donald Trump speaks during the Black Conservative Federation Gala on February 23, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. Prosecutors claim Trump tried to hide classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump tried to corrupt his own attorney into hiding classified documents, prosecutors alleged.

When the attorney refused, Trump got two of his own assistants to hide the documents from the attorney and cover up the CCTV video evidence, according to the latest filing in Trump’s classified documents case in Florida.

The document was filed on Monday on behalf of Special Counsel Jack Smith by David V. Harbach II, assistant special counsel, and Jay I. Bratt, counselor to the special counsel. It was in response to a motion filed to Judge Aileen Cannon by Trump’s lawyers, who claim the case is based on “vindictive prosecution” by President Joe Biden and the Democratic party.

Trump is facing 40 federal charges over allegations he retained classified papers after leaving the White House in January 2021 and then obstructed efforts by authorities to have them returned.

In August 2022, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago private members club was raided by federal agents who recovered classified documents. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges and strongly denies any wrongdoing. He is the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race. His two co-accused, Waltine Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, have also pleaded not guilty.

The latest filing goes into details of Trump’s alleged hiding of classified documents to show that the case is not vindictive or based on political bias. It states that Trump only pretended to cooperate with a National Archive demand that he return classified documents that he stored in his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving the White House in 2021.

“When presented with a grand jury subpoena demanding the return of the remaining documents bearing classification markings, Trump attempted to enlist his own attorney in the corrupt endeavor, suggesting that he falsely tell the FBI and grand jury that Trump did not have any documents, and suggesting that his attorney hide or destroy documents rather than produce them to the government,” the document states.

After the attorney refused to cooperate, Trump then tried to deceive him, the prosecutors added.

“Failing in his effort to corrupt the attorney, Trump enlisted his trusted body man, codefendant Waltine Nauta, in a scheme to deceive the attorney by moving boxes to conceal his [Trump’s] continued possession of classified documents. As a result, Trump, through his attorney, again returned only a portion of the classified documents in his possession while falsely claiming that his production was complete,” the document states.

Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira then allegedly tried to destroy the CCTV footage that proved they hid the boxes.

“The obstructive conduct even persisted from there. In June 2022, knowing that he had arranged for Nauta to move boxes to conceal them from Trump’s attorney, and knowing that the government had subpoenaed the security video footage that would reveal that surreptitious box movement, Trump, now joined by not only Nauta but also codefendant Carlos De Oliveira, attempted to have the information-technology manager at Mar-a- Lago delete the video footage that would show the movement of boxes,” the filing added.

Courtesy: Newsweek