Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

By Andrew Goudsward

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A key witness within the case accusing former U.S. President Donald Trump of mishandling categorized paperwork after leaving workplace has entered right into a take care of prosecutors to offer testimony, his former lawyer mentioned in a Wednesday court docket submitting.

The deal was reached after U.S. Particular Counsel Jack Smith’s workplace threatened to prosecute the witness, who’s the top of knowledge expertise at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida resort, for mendacity to a grand jury, the lawyer, Stanley Woodward, mentioned within the submitting.

Woodward presently represents Walt Nauta, one of many two Trump workers additionally charged within the paperwork case, along with having beforehand represented the IT head, who shouldn’t be named in Wednesday’s submitting.

Prosecutors have mentioned the worker is prone to testify at trial, posing a possible battle of curiosity for Woodward, who will face the prospect of a former consumer testifying in opposition to a present consumer.

Woodward has not opposed the request for U.S. District Choose Aileen Cannon, who’s presiding over the case, to carry a listening to on the problem. However he prompt in Wednesday’s submitting that prosecutors’ dealing with of the IT supervisor’s testimony was improper.

The case is one in all 4 felony prosecutions of Trump, who leads the sector searching for the Republican nomination to problem Democratic President Joe Biden within the 2024 election.

Prosecutors beforehand mentioned that the witness, who has been recognized by media retailers Politico and CNN as Yuscil Taveras, had details about efforts by Trump’s private aide Nauta and others to impede the categorized paperwork investigation.

Taveras’ present lawyer had no speedy remark.

Prosecutors have charged Trump, Nauta and a 3rd Mar-a-Lago worker, Carlos De Oliveira, with making an attempt to thwart authorities efforts to retrieve delicate paperwork taken to the Florida resort after Trump left workplace. All three have pleaded not responsible.

A spokesperson for Smith’s workplace declined to remark. Woodward declined to remark.

Prosecutors mentioned in an August court docket submitting that the witness initially denied any information of obstruction. After receiving a letter from the particular counsel’s workplace threatening him with prosecution, he dropped Woodward as his lawyer after which detailed alleged efforts to delete safety digicam footage at Mar-a-Lago, they mentioned.

Woodward rejected prosecutors’ account in Wednesday’s submitting, saying the IT worker offered new testimony to the grand jury solely after being supplied a non-prosecution deal, which was reached after he was not representing the worker.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Enhancing by Scott Malone and Andrea Ricci)

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