Mar-a-Lago Manager De Oliveira Pleads Not Guilty to New Charges
Washington: Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager overseeing the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Donald Trump, has entered a plea of not guilty in response to charges filed against him by special counsel Jack Smith. The charges stem from an investigation into classified documents and were detailed in an updated indictment last month.
De Oliveira’s plea was submitted during a court appearance in Fort Pierce, Florida, where he was accompanied by his local attorney, Donnie Murrell. Representing the special counsel’s office was Michael Thakur, a prosecutor working on the case.
This court appearance marked the third instance in which De Oliveira was arraigned, as he had previously encountered delays in finalizing arrangements with local legal representation.
In June, former President Donald Trump entered a plea of not guilty to 37 criminal charges connected to his handling of classified materials. Prosecutors alleged that he persistently refused to relinquish numerous documents containing classified content, spanning from sensitive U.S. nuclear information to defense capabilities. Moreover, he allegedly took deliberate actions to impede the government’s attempts to recover these documents. Alongside Trump, his long-standing aide Walt Nauta also pleaded not guilty to related allegations.
The recent superseding indictment has introduced new charges against Trump, Nauta, and Carlos De Oliveira. These charges encompass an alleged conspiracy to obstruct justice. Specifically, they are accused of endeavoring to erase surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago that purportedly depicted employees repositioning boxes. This purported action was intended to conceal information from both the FBI and the grand jury, as detailed in the indictment.
In the preceding week, both Trump and Nauta responded to the new charges with not guilty pleas.
Carlos De Oliveira, on the other hand, faces four distinct criminal charges. These include making false statements, participating in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, and tampering with, destroying, mutilating, or hiding an object relevant to an official proceeding.
According to prosecutors, the trio of individuals are accused of conspiring to eliminate potential evidence. This scheme is said to have been triggered when the Trump Organization was served with a preliminary grand jury subpoena in June 2022, which sought security footage from Mar-a-Lago.
Supposedly, Trump was in communication with Nauta and De Oliveira during this period. Notably, an interaction of significance was a 24-minute phone call between Trump and De Oliveira, occurring the day after the subpoena was received, as detailed in the indictment.
Trump has consistently refuted all allegations against him and criticized the investigation as a politically motivated and unjustified pursuit.