A witness identified as ‘Trump employee 4’ in Donald Trump’s classified documents case has retracted his past testimony to the Justice Department.
Here are the details of the news.
‘Trump Employee 4’ Retracts Testimony Controversy
On Tuesday, the Justice Department disclosed new court filings in which a witness in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case retracted his earlier false testimony and helped the prosecutors with information against Trump and his aides.
In the document, the witness, reportedly Yuscil Tavares, is referred to as ‘Trump Employee 4’, a Trump staffer and a tech worker at Trump’s residence, Mar-a-Lago.
Prosecutors said on Tuesday that the witness lied to the grand jury that he could not recall any conversations about the security footage at the Mar-a-Lago when he was first interrogated in Washington in March 2023 as a part of the investigation related to security camera footage at Trump’s residence in the classified documents case.
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The special counsel team said, “He repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall any contacts or conversations about the security footage at Mar-a-Lago.”
After a month, the prosecutors brought about an indictment to charge Trump and his aide Walt Nauta related to the hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, which feared the Trump employee 4.
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When the prosecutors warned him about the severity of the punishment if he is found involved in hiding the camera footage and after the prosecutors informed him that lawyers might have a conflict of interest in representing him in the case, the ‘Trump employee 4’ changed his statements in July.
The witness got the new lawyers from the federal defender’s office, following which he retracted from his previous testimony. Later, the witness provided the justice department with all the necessary information that helped charge the former President, his aide Walt Nauta, and a third defendant, Carlos De Oliveira.
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The court document stated, “He (Trump employee 4) retracted his prior false testimony and provided information that implicated Nauta, [Carlos] De Oliveira, and Trump in efforts to delete security camera footage.”
In the court filings, prosecutors described the witness interaction seeking a Florida hearing about potential conflicts of interest involving the defense lawyer, Stanley Woodward, who also represents Nauta.
Prosecutors wrote, “The target letter to ‘Trump Employee 4’ crystallized a conflict of interest arising from Mr. Woodward’s concurrent representation of Trump Employee 4 and Nauta.”
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The prosecutors added, “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.”
The grand jury has set a trial date for the former President’s classified document case as 20 May 2024. Trump, a 2024 GOP frontrunner, has pleaded not guilty in the case and has denied any wrongdoing.
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