A Mar-a-Lago employee recanted his testimony after changing from a lawyer backed by former President Donald Trump’s political action committee to one from the federal defender’s office, prosecutors wrote in a Tuesday court filing.
“Trump Employee 4,” who has been identified as Information Technology director Yuscil Taveras, initially denied recalling conversations about security footage during his testimony before the District of Columbia grand jury in March, according to a filing by special counsel Jack Smith’s office. But after switching from Trump-PAC supported Stanley Woodward to a federal defender as his lawyer, he recanted.
“The Government anticipates calling Trump Employee 4 as a trial witness and expects that he will testify to conduct alleged in the superseding indictment regarding efforts to delete security footage,” the filing states. “Trump Employee 4 will very likely face cross-examination about his prior inconsistent statements in his grand jury testimony, which occurred while Mr. Woodward represented him, and which he disavowed immediately after obtaining new counsel.”
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After a grand jury handed down its 38-count indictment relating to Trump’s handling of classified documents June 8, the government continued investigating false statements made by Taveras, advising him June 20 that he was “the target of a grand jury investigation in the District of Columbia into whether he committed perjury there,” according to the filing.
Taveras told District of Columbia Chief Judge James Boasberg that he no longer wanted to be represented by Woodward on July 5 and thereafter retracted his prior testimony.
Smith added a third defendant, Carlos De Oliveira, and new charges against Trump in a superseding indictment July 27, which included an additional count of willful retention of documents and two more counts of obstruction. The updated charges — which the filing makes clear stemmed from Taveras recanting prior testimony — allege Trump sought to delete Mar-a-Lago security camera footage.
The filing was made in support of prosecutors’ earlier motion to hold a hearing regarding potential conflicts of interests surrounding Woodward, who represents Trump’s co-defendant Walt Nauta.
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