Donald Trump has been slapped with new charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, which a veteran correspondent compared to a Mafia investigation.
The former president was indicted Thursday on additional charges of obstruction and willful retention of national defense information in a superseding indictment, and another one of his employees was also charged in the case, and NBC News correspondent Ken Delanian explained the developments to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“It’s just extraordinary,” Delanian said. “These allegations rival anything Richard Nixon was accused of. These are additional counts of obstruction of justice, and this indictment reads like a Mafia case. Here, you have — again, these are allegations, and the burden of proof here is high. They don’t have direct witnesses implicating Trump, but this is a scheme to destroy evidence three days after a grand jury subpoena lands on Mr. Trump. It’s mind-boggling.”
“It involves very low-level employees whose lives are about to be ruined unless they cut a deal with prosecutors,” he added. “As for [Walt] Nauta, there’s no sign that he is going to do that. His lawyers are paid for by Mr. Trump – he’s completely loyal, he’s following Mr. Trump around. The other thing I think about these obstruction elements is that, you know, a lot of regular Americans out there who don’t follow this very closely, when they hear about the classified documents case, they have a hard time distinguishing what Trump did from what Joe Biden and Mike Pence did, even though we all know that it is vastly different, right? All three men had classified documents in their possession. Nobody has trouble, I think, differentiating these incredible obstruction of justice charges. Everybody understands what it means to destroy evidence, particularly surveillance video evidence. I have to point out that there’s no allegation in this new superseding indictment that they actually attempted to destroy the tapes.”
The server room where the surveillance video was stored at Mar-a-Lago flooded, destroying possible evidence in the case, but Delanian pointed out the indictment doesn’t include any specific allegations about that incident.
“That’s not in here, there’s nobody that can directly put Mr. Trump in a room and testify, ‘I heard him say to destroy the tapes,'” Delanian said. “It’s all hearsay. It’s Employee No. 4 saying, ‘I talked to Carlos De Oliveira, and that’s what he said.’ What they’d really like is Mr. De Oliveira to testify and tell the truth about his conversations with Mr. Trump. If you read this indictment, the obstruction is extraordinary. Secondly, the mysterious document which we believe was a military plan — well, the indictment now says, it was a political military plan about options for attacking Iran, Donald Trump said it didn’t exist after the original indictment. The government has had it since Trump turned over the first documents in 2022. It’s the subject of a tape you played and a devastating piece of evidence.”
“This superseding indictment, it seems to me, strengthening this already very strong case. We were waiting around yesterday thinking the Jan. 6 indictment was coming, so we’re only at the beginning of really the third inning, I think, of the federal legal troubles for former president Donald Trump.”