Trump Stands Firm, Says Tapes Were Not Deleted

Gage Skidmore

Former President Donald Trump has vehemently denied allegations that he ordered the erasure of security footage at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

These accusations were made by special counsel Jack Smith, who recently added three new charges against Trump. The charges were related to allegations that Trump instructed a Mar-a-Lago employee to delete security tapes to prevent a grand jury from viewing them.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) named Carlos De Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago staffer, as a third defendant in the complaint. However, Trump has refuted these new charges, claiming that the DOJ’s actions are equivalent to election interference ahead of the 2024 contest. He asserted that the security tapes from Mar-a-Lago were not deleted but were voluntarily handed over to the DOJ.

Trump took to Truth Social to express his views, stating that he never instructed anyone to delete the tapes. He accused the DOJ of prosecutorial fiction and misconduct, and likened the new claims to the “Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX.”

The DOJ’s recent court filings allege that De Oliveira informed another Mar-a-Lago employee that “the boss” wanted a server “deleted” on June 27, 2022. This was approximately two months before FBI agents raided the Palm Beach resort owned by Trump, where they discovered allegedly classified documents in a storage area.

Trump’s attorney and spokesperson, Alina Habba, defended the former president in an interview with Fox News. She stated that Trump never directed an employee to delete tapes and that all requested videos and surveillance tapes were turned over. Habba also criticized the new superseding indictment, calling it an attempt to get another headline for Trump.

Trump, who is expected to go to trial for the classified documents case next May, has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He maintains that as president, he had the right to take such documents and that the charges against him are politically motivated.