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Former President Donald Trump on Sunday denied allegations that he deleted Mar-a-Lago security footage after FBI and DOJ investigators collected documents from his Florida home in June 2022.
Last week, Special Counsel Jack Smith unveiled a superseding indictment against Trump, adding charges of willful retention of national defense information and obstruction. Prosecutors accused Trump and aides of asking an employee of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to delete security camera footage so evidence could not be provided to a federal grand jury.
Trump categorically denied the accusations and insisted his team handed the tapes to the DOJ.
“Mar-a-Lago security tapes were not deleted,” Trump wrote on TRUTH Social. “They were voluntarily handed over to the thugs, headed up by deranged Jack Smith. We did not even go to court to stop them from getting these tapes. I never told anybody to delete them. Prosecutorial fiction & misconduct! Election interference!”
In a follow-up post, the former president compared the latest accusation to the “Russia, Russia, Russia HOAX.”
“They knowingly accuse you of a fake crime, a crime that they actually make up, you fight these false charges hard, and they try and get you on “obstruction.” We are dealing with sick and evil people!” he added.
DOJ prosecutors claim in the latest court filings reported by The Epoch Times that Mar-a-Lago staffer Carlos De Olivera told another employee that “the boss” wanted a server “deleted” on June 27, 2022 — about two months before FBI agents raided Trump’s home where they allegedly discovered documents in a storage area.
Trump’s attorney Alina Habba reiterated her client’s dismissal of the claims during an interview with Fox News on Sunday.
“What was the obstruction of justice? Because no tapes were deleted,” Habba said. “He turned them over. He cooperated as he always does. But they would like the American public to believe in these bogus indictments.”
“When he has his turn in court, and when we get to file our papers, you will see that every single video, every single surveillance tape that was requested, was turned over,” she added. “If President Trump didn’t want something turned over, I assure you, that is something that could have been done. But he never would act like that. He is the most ethical American I know.”
In a third Truth Social post from Trump, the former president said the Justice Department allegedly admitted that the tapes were not deleted.
“The Crooked Election Interference ‘Thugs’ from the DOJ, headed by the worst Thug of them all, Deranged Jack Smith, are now admitting that the Mar-a-Lago Security Tapes were NOT DELETED,” he said. “That’s not what they were illegally leaking to the press. These guys should be prosecuted for MISCONDUCT. Also, whatever happened to Crooked Joe’s Documents? Where are the ones he sent and stored in Chinatown? Is Deranged Jack going to Indict him for this and, at the same time, receiving BRIBES FROM CHINA?”
Trump, who pleaded not guilty to the 37 federal counts he previously faced in the documents case, contended that the charges are a continuation of a “witch hunt” against him and his supporters.
The legal jeopardy Trump faces extends beyond the documents case. He may also face charges stemming from Smith’s inquiry into efforts geared toward fighting the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump also faces state-level charges in the New York hush-money case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Charges in a 2020 election-focused inquiry in Georgia could also follow.
The former president and current Republican frontrunner for the 2024 election is scheduled to go to trial for the classified documents case in May.
Daniel Chaitin contributed to this report.