Former President Donald Trump was hit on Thursday with a superseding indictment, alleging that he, his body man Walt Nauta, and a top maintenance worker at Mar-a-Lago named Carlos De Oliveira worked together to try to destroy incriminating security footage showing them concealing classified documents federal officials were trying to recover. The indictment also shows that special counsel Jack Smith is in possession of the Iran war plan document Trump was boasting about at his Bedminster golf club, eliminating his argument that he was just making empty claims based on bravado, and not really showing people classified information.
But things could get even worse, argued former litigator Lisa Rubin on MSNBC. Smith also has access to a huge array of phones used by and to communicate with the defendants, and could get irrefutable evidence from that alone.
“They have surveillance footage from multiple locations referenced in this indictment,” said anchor Alex Wagner. “The discovery burden will increase that, plus we have the possibility of additional pretrial motions that can’t be stopped. One of those is called the severance motion. That is when one defendant says, I can’t get a fair trial if I’m sitting next to that guy. That’s a hard argument for someone like Walt Nauta to make, particularly given that he remains employed as Trump’s body guy. But we don’t know what the status of Carlos De Oliveira is right now. He also is not as implicated in the criminal charges here as Nauta and Trump are. He could see the pretrial publicity surrounding the former president is so massive that he and Nauta can’t get a fair trial as ordinary people in the service of the former president.”
“That seems a reasonable case to be made,” said Wagner. Rubin agreed, saying, “I think their lawyers probably will make that case.”
“When you talk about the evidence and discovery, there seems to be a lot of electronic records mentioned in this,” said Wagner. “I know this is something that you have flagged. What stood out to you in this superseding indictment?”
“One of the things that stood out to me is really that there are more phones than we knew that were in Jack Smith’s possession. One of the things we know is that they have Nauta’s phones. How do we know that? Because his lawyer said so in open court last week that two of his — at least two of his phones were seized through a search warrant. What we now know is that they must have either De Oliveira or Trump Employee 4 … they must have their phones as well. How do we know that? Because they have electronic communications that are solely between the two of them.”
Lisa Rubin says Jack Smith has a trove of phones