Former President Donald Trump was charged with an additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two new obstruction counts as part of a superseding indictment out of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records.
“Today, a superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida that adds one defendant and four charges to the prior indictment filed against Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta,” the Justice Department said in a statement Thursday. “The superseding indictment adds a new Count charging Trump with one additional count of willful retention of National Defense Information.”
“Carlos de Oliveira, 56, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has been added to the obstruction conspiracy charged in the original indictment,” the DOJ said. “The superseding indictment also charges Trump, De Oliveira and Nauta with two new obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at The Mar-a-Lago Club in summer 2022.”
“Finally, the superseding indictment also charges De Oliveira with false statements and representations in a voluntary interview with the FBI on Jan. 13, 2023,” the DOJ added. “De Oliveira has been summoned to appear at 10:30 a.m. on July 31, 2023, in Courtroom #5 at the James L. King Federal Courthouse in Miami.”
The indictment alleges that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage from Mar-a-Lago.
According to the indictment, De Oliveira told an unnamed Trump employee that “‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
“Trump Employee 4 responded that he would not know how to do that, and that he did not believe that he would have the rights to do that,” the indictment states. “Trump Employee 4 told De Oliveira that De Oliveira would have to reach out to another employee who was a supervisor of security for Trump’s business organization.”
Reacting to the additional charges, a Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital that “this is nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”
“Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden,” the spokesperson added.
Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022 to investigate Trump’s alleged improper retention of classified records at his Mar-a-Lago home.
The Justice Department had been investigating the matter after the FBI conducted an unprecedented search on his private residence in August 2022.
NARA told Congress in February 2022 that Trump took 15 boxes of presidential records to his personal residence in Florida. NARA recovered the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and “identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes.” The matter was referred to the Justice Department by NARA.
Those boxes allegedly contained “classified national security information,” and official correspondence between Trump and foreign heads of state.
Classified records were also discovered in President Biden’s office at the Penn Biden Center last year. Those records were from his time as vice president during the Obama administration and from his tenure in the U.S. Senate.
At the time, Garland initially chose U.S. Attorney John Lausch to conduct a review of classified records that were discovered at the Penn Biden Center. In December, more classified records were found at Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home, but the discoveries were not made public until this year.
Garland later appointed U.S. Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate Biden’s improper retention of classified records. Hur took over the DOJ investigation from Lausch.
The status of Hur’s investigation is unclear.
Meanwhile, classified records were also found at former Vice President Mike Pence’s home in Indiana.
Fox News reported last month that the Justice Department had completed its investigation in the matter and that Pence will not be charged.