Attorneys who replaced witnesses in Trump documents case, then testify

Former President Donald J. A Trump employee changed his grand jury testimony in the documents case after the Justice Department raised questions about whether his attorney had a conflict of interest in representing both the employee and the defendant in the case, prosecutors told the court. Filed on Tuesday.

Special counsel Jack Smith said attorney Stanley Woodward should hold a hearing to address the employee as a potential witness in the case. Mr. Woodward also called two potential witnesses and one of the co-defendants, Walt Nauta, Mr. Also represents Trump’s personal assistant.

The employee was not named in court filings, but people familiar with the matter identified Yusil Taveras, Mr. She has been identified as an IT worker at Trump’s private club and residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Mr. Trump is accused of mishandling classified documents he took with him when he left the White House and thwarting the government’s efforts to retrieve them. Trump was indicted in June. Mr. Along with Trump, Mr. Nauta was also charged, and prosecutors filed additional charges in July. Mr Trump allegedly told Carlos de Oliveira, the property manager at Mar-a-Lago, to delete security camera footage there.

Mr. De Oliveira, Mr. Citing the testimony of a witness who appeared to be Taveras, the indictment accused him of the violation. Mr. Taveras has not been charged in the case.

Mr. Save America, a Trump-affiliated political action group, called Mr. Woodward’s fees have been paid. Responding to calls by Mr. No evidence of such fraud has emerged, as the PAC was created with small donations from Trump’s supporters. Trump advisers have insisted that any witness’ testimony has nothing to do with paying their legal fees.

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Mr. Taveras initially told the grand jury that he did not remember any conversation regarding the security footage from Mar-a-Lago, and that in 2022 Mr. The government issued the subpoena as part of an investigation into Trump’s retention of classified documents, including national security material. Mr. De Oliveira made similar statements.

According to the government, both statements are false.

Many people related to the case Mr. Chief Judge James E. Bossberg, Mr. presented Taveras. A federal public defender to “advise” about potential conflicts.

“On July 5, 2023, Trump Staff 4 informed Chief Judge Bosberg that he no longer wished to be represented by Mr. Woodward and that, moving forward, he wished to be represented by a First Assistant Federal Defender,” the filing said. Mr. To Taveras. “Immediately after receiving new counsel, Trump staffer 4 retracted his earlier false testimony and provided information implicating Nauta, De Oliveira and Trump in efforts to expunge security camera footage.

Mr. Woodward declined to comment. A Trump campaign spokeswoman and a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

But Mr. Nauda and Mr. Mr. De Oliveira Mr. Taveras’ redacted statements related to efforts to find ways to eliminate security footage. Mr. De Oliveira was charged in late July. Smith’s group appeared to be key to the decision. .

Mr. After the government raised questions about whether Woodward had a conflict of interest, Judge Eileen M. Cannon asked Mr. Woodward if it was proper to have two grand juries on the same case. .

Mr. Woodward said he thought it was not, and for that reason Mr. He asked the judge to consider striking Taveras’ testimony. Judge Cannon has yet to rule on the matter, but he ultimately ruled in favor of Mr. If it tries to attack Taveras’s testimony, it is Mr. De Oliveira and Mr. Trump may be barred from trespassing charges brought against him by the government.

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Mr. Among Trump’s legal cases, Mr. Woodward’s situation is not unique. Other attorneys for persons involved in the documents case represent multiple witnesses or defendants.

The government is conducting a separate investigation into Save America’s payments to lawyers. Since January Mr. The PAC has settled more than $21 million in legal fees for Trump and several witnesses in the case.

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