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Carlos De Oliveira, Mar-a-Lago property manager, pleads not guilty in classified documents case

Trump hit with more charges in documents case
Trump hit with new charges as special counsel expands Mar-a-Lago documents case 03:36

Washington — Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager at former President Donald Trump's South Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith in the case alleging Trump mishandled sensitive government documents after leaving office.

De Oliveira is facing four charges related to accusations from the special counsel that he, along with Trump and aide Walt Nauta, tried to delete security camera footage from Mar-a-Lago that was sought by investigators. He made an initial appearance last month and was released on a $100,000 signature bond. 

De Oliveira appeared alongside Florida-based lawyer Donald Murrell before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek Mills Maynard for Tuesday's brief arraignment. His two earlier proceedings were delayed because he hadn't retained a lawyer in Florida as required.

While the last hearing for De Oliveira was postponed, both Trump and Nauta pleaded not guilty to additional charges stemming from Smith's investigation into government records recovered from Mar-a-Lago. Nauta attended his second arraignment, while Trump waived his appearance. 

Carlos De Oliveira, property manager of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, departs the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Aug. 10, 2023.
Carlos De Oliveira, property manager of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, departs the federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Aug. 10, 2023.  CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

A federal grand jury returned the new indictment naming De Oliveira as the third co-defendant in the case against Trump and Nauta last month. He faces one count of altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing an object; one count of corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing a document, record or other object; one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice; and one count of making false statements and representations during a voluntary interview with federal investigators.

The updated indictment also included three new charges against Trump, who was already facing 37 felony counts stemming from his handling of sensitive government records. The new charges brought by the special counsel include two obstruction counts and one additional count of unlawful retention of national defense information, which relates to a Pentagon memo on Iran that Trump allegedly showed to a writer and publisher during a July 2021 meeting at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

Trump pleaded not guilty to the original 37 counts in June and has claimed Smith's case is part of a partisan "witch hunt" designed to damage his candidacy for the White House in 2024. Nauta also pleaded not guilty to the six initial charges filed against him during his first arraignment last month.

A trial in the case is set to begin in May 2024.

The new allegations in the indictment involve security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago that was sought through a federal grand jury subpoena sent to a Trump lawyer in June 2022. Prosecutors allege that Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira requested footage to be deleted to prevent it from being turned over.

According to the indictment, De Oliveira told Mar-a-Lago's director of information technology that "'the boss' wanted the server deleted." When the unnamed employee responded that he didn't believe he could do that, De Oliveira "insisted" that "'the boss' wanted the server deleted and asked, 'What are we going to do?'" according to the updated indictment from the special counsel's team. 

Multiple sources told CBS News that the Mar-a-Lago IT worker is Yuscil Taveras. He has not been charged. 

The FBI and grand jury received surveillance video from Mar-a-Lago in July 2022, which showed boxes being moved, according to the special counsel. 

Federal prosecutors also claim De Oliveira lied to investigators during a voluntary interview at his house on Jan. 13 about the location and movement of boxes stored at Mar-a-Lago. De Oliveira told the FBI that he was not part of a group that helped unload and move boxes at the end of Trump's presidency, and said he was not aware that boxes were being moved, according to the new indictment.

Smith's team argues De Oliveira's statements were "false," because he "personally observed and helped move Trump's boxes when they arrived" at Mar-a-Lago in January 2021.

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