A third defendant has been charged in the classified documents case in addition to Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta, painting an even broader picture of alleged criminality regarding the former president’s possession of national security information at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
On Thursday, Mar-a-Lago maintenance supervisor Carlos De Oliveira was added in the new or “superseding” indictment in the federal case in Florida and, like Nauta, is charged with obstruction-related crimes. De Oliveira was the property manager at Mar-a-Lago beginning in January 2022 and was a valet before that, according to the new indictment.
Among other things, the new indictment alleges that Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira requested that an unidentified employee delete security camera footage at Mar-a-Lago to prevent the footage from being provided to special counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury. De Oliveira told the employee “that ‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted,” prosecutors alleged in the new indictment.
The newest defendant is charged with four counts. In addition to two concealment-related counts for allegedly requesting the video deletion, De Oliveira is charged with conspiring to obstruct justice along with Trump and Nauta, as well as a count of false statement or representation.
Trump is now charged with 40 counts, while Nauta is facing eight. Trump was initially charged with 37 counts and Nauta six.
Notably, among Trump’s new charges is one related to willful retention of national defense information, connected to a sensitive document of an attack plan he allegedly showed to people who lacked security clearances. The incident from Bedminster, New Jersey, in 2021, was mentioned in the initial indictment and led to speculation over whether the government actually had the document in its possession. Now Trump is directly charged with it, marking 32 willful retention counts in the new indictment, up from 31 in the initial indictment.
It’s not unusual for prosecutors to bring superseding indictments to add charges and/or defendants to existing indictments.
But in this case there is more attention on timing than usual, ahead of the 2024 presidential election that could thwart these very charges. Judge Aileen Cannon recently set a trial date in late May before this superseding indictment was issued, and it’s not immediately clear how that timing will be affected. In a notice regarding the superseding indictment, the special counsel said the new charges "should not disturb" the trial date or schedule Cannon recently laid out. Expect the defense challenging that notion.
According to the docket on Thursday, De Oliveira's initial appearance and arraignment is set for Monday, July 31.