A significant development has emerged in the investigation surrounding the retention of classified documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property. According to Stanley Woodward, a former attorney for an IT director at Mar-a-Lago, the IT manager entered into a cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors last summer as part of their inquiry.
Woodward’s revelation came in response to Justice Department claims of a potential conflict-of-interest due to his representation of another key figure in the Mar-a-Lago probe, Trump’s valet Walt Nauta.
Typically, a cooperation agreement entails assisting a criminal investigation in exchange for immunity from prosecution. In this instance, the IT worker testified before a federal grand jury that returned an updated indictment in July against Trump, Nauta, and another Mar-a-Lago employee, Carlos De Oliveira. The indictment accuses them of conspiring to delete surveillance footage from the property, although all three have pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges that De Oliveira, Mar-a-Lago’s property manager, informed the IT director (referred to as Trump Employee 4) that “the boss” desired the deletion of surveillance footage. Notably, the Justice Department does not claim that the footage was actually deleted.
Special counsel Jack Smith’s team stated in a recent court filing that the IT director retracted “prior false testimony” after being alerted to a potential conflict due to Woodward’s representation of Nauta. He subsequently changed attorneys and provided new, incriminating information leading up to the superseding indictment in July.
Woodward, in a recent court filing, contested this account, asserting that he welcomed the opportunity for his client to have a new lawyer from the federal defender’s office. Additionally, he stated that the cooperation agreement had been offered immediately after his client expressed the desire to switch attorneys, and that his client had not been coached to provide false testimony.