Former President Donald Trump had classified documents stored in a bathroom and shower at Mar-a-Lago, according to prosecutors.
Department of Justice; Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images
A new filing by DOJ prosecutors on Tuesday claimed that a key Mar-a-Lago witness flipped on Trump.
“Trump Employee 4” had initially been represented by a lawyer paid for by a Trump political action committee.
He retracted testimony after switching counsel, implicating Trump in charges, prosecutors said.
A Mar-a-Lago employee in charge of security cameras at former President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach club and residence retracted initial false testimony that he shared with a grand jury after he switched to an attorney not paid for by Trump’s Save America PAC, prosecutors said.
According to a new filing on Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith’s office said that the employee — listed as “Trump Employee 4” in the Mar-a-Lago superseding indictment — offered different testimony about the attempt to delete security camera footage and could now be a key witness.
Prosecutors said that the employee retracted prior false testimony “immediately” after making the switch in representation and provided information implicating Trump and two codefendants named in the superseding indictment, per the filing.
The employee was identified as Yuscil Taveras by NBC News. Taveras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The filing came after US District Court judge Aileen Cannon, based in Florida, asked prosecutors why they were retrieving evidence from a Washington, DC, grand jury, per Politico. In response, the prosecutors shared the revelation and added that the DC grand jury had finished its work on August 17.
In the superseding indictment announced by Smith in late July, Trump was charged with violating additional federal laws related to the case prosecutors brought against him alleging he brought classified documents to his estate and tried to cover his tracks.
The superseding indictment also named initial codefendant Walt Nauta, a Trump aide, and a new codefendant Carlos De Oliveira, a property manager at the estate. Prosecutors claimed that together, they attempted to delete footage related to the storage of the classified documents in the summer of 2022 in hopes of obstructing the DOJ investigation.
Nauta is represented by Stanley Woodward, who previously repped Trump Employee 4, and prosecutors said that Woodward’s continued presence in the case could also mark a conflict of interest. Prosecutors said that Taveras was sent a target letter in June by the DOJ.
“Advising Trump Employee 4 to correct his sworn testimony would result in testimony incriminating Mr. Woodward’s other client, Nauta; but permitting Trump Employee 4’s false testimony to stand uncorrected would leave Trump Employee 4 exposed to criminal charges for perjury,” prosecutors said in the filing.
Woodward did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In the superseding indictment, prosecutors included purported text message exchanges between De Oliveira and Taveras, where De Oliveira says that “the boss” wanted a server containing security footage deleted.
Taveras was also asked by the codefendants about how long the servers retain footage, to which he said 45 days, according to the superseding indictment.
In the latest development, federal prosecutors said that they plan to call on Taveras to describe the pressure campaign to delete security footage.
“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,” prosecutors wrote.
An attorney for Trump did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.