Newly indicted Trump employee has not secured Florida counsel


MIAMI, Fl.— The Mar-a-Lago property manager charged in a new indictment alongside former President Donald Trump in the alleged mishandling of classified government documents after Trump left office has not secured a Florida-based lawyer ahead of his first court appearance Monday.

Carlos De Oliveira, 56, is set to appear before a magistrate judge Monday in Miami to enter his plea after he was named last week as a third co-defendant in a superseding, or amended, indictment. Prosecutors charge that De Oliveira attempted to delete surveillance footage at the former president’s Palm Beach club after the Justice Department sought to obtain it.

“We’re working on ascertaining local counsel,” John Irving, an attorney for De Oliveira, told NBC News.

But without a lawyer who can practice in Florida, Irving said he didn’t think the judge would proceed with De Oliveira’s arraignment. Irving said it would depend on the judge, raising the prospect of delays in the case.

De Oliveira has been summoned to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres, who presided over the arraignment of Walt Nauta, Trump’s personal aide who is also indicted in the classified documents case. Nauta’s not guilty plea was twice postponed because of difficulties in hiring local counsel.

De Oliveira, a former maintenance worker who had climbed the ranks at Mar-a-Lago for more than a decade, was a little-known aide at the club before being named a co-conspirator alongside Trump and Nauta in special counsel Jack Smith’s updated indictment unsealed on Thursday. Asked about De Oliveira after the federal indictment was unsealed Thursday, one person close to Trump responded, “Who the hell is that?”

Filed in the Southern District of Florida, the updated indictment lays out new charges against Trump, Nauta, and, now, De Oliveira, who are accused of conspiring to thwart federal investigators’ efforts to retrieve sensitive classified documents from Trump in his post-presidency.

According to court documents, De Oliveira told another employee at Trump’s Palm Beach club that “the boss” wanted surveillance footage deleted, a conversation that took place after Trump’s attorneys received a subpoena to turn over the recordings.

De Oliveira is also accused of making false statements to prosecutors, including the assertion that he “never saw anything” when asked whether he was involved with moving boxes of classified materials.

Aides to Trump appear to voice concern about De Oliveira’s loyalty to the former president. Speaking to another employee, Nauta “said words to the effect of, ‘someone just wants to make sure Carlos is good,’” according to the indictment. In a Signal message to Nauta and another aide to Trump, who is described as a representative for his political action committee, the employee responds that De Oliveira is “loyal.”

That same day, “Trump called De Oliveira and told De Oliveira that Trump would get De Oliveira an attorney,” the indictment says.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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