“The boss” wants the server deleted, Carlos De Oliveira, a property manager at the Mar-a-Lago Club, told the Director of It at the club, according to the new superseding indictment. This was followed by extraordinary comments and actions more befitting of a crime boss than a former president.
According to prosecutors, after the Justice Department had issued a subpoena for the surveillance video, Special Counsel Jack Smith obtained evidence that Trump ordered his employees to delete the Mar-a-Lago security camera footage.
“On March 30, 2022. the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a criminal investigation into the unlawful retention of classified documents at The Mar-a-Lago Club. A federal grand jury investigation began the next month. The grand jury issued a subpoena requiring TRUMP to tum over all documents with classification markings. TRUMP endeavored to obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations and conceal his continued retention of classified documents…”
On June 22, 2022 the DOJ “emailed a draft grand jury subpoena requiring the production of certain security camera footage from The Mar-a-Lago Club, including footage from cameras ‘on ground floor (basement),’ where the Storage Room was located.”
On June 24, they emailed the final grand jury subpoena, which included “(a)ny and all surveillance records, videos, images. photographs and/or CCTV from internal cameras”.
OK, so here’s where we get into the mob boss business (which, to be fair, is hardly new for Trump but it still worth examining here because it’s impossible to ignore and has ramifications for trials, witnesses, and more). Also on June 24, “Trump Attorney I spoke with TRUMP by phone regarding the subpoena for security camera footage. At 3:44 p.m., NAUTA received a text message from a co-worker. Trump Employee 3. indicating that TRUMP wanted to see NAUTA. Less than two hours later, NAUTA-who was scheduled to travel with TRUMP to Illinois the next day—changed his travel schedule and began to make arrangements to go to Palm Reach, Florida instead.”
The government says Nauta gave different accounts to colleagues for the change in plans, citing a family emergency in Florida to some with the “shushing” emoji and later told one of the same people he was in Florida to work.
“Around the same time on June 24 that NAUTA was making his travel plans to go to Florida, NAUTA and DE OLJVEJRA contacted Trump Employee 4. who was the Director of Information Technology (“IT’) at The Mar-a-Lago Club.”
Cut to June 27 after a lot of back and forth and we get to “the boss” wants that server deleted (my bold to highlight passages suggestive of the way a crime boss operates):
83. On Monday, June 27, 2022, at 9:48 a.m., DE OLIVEIRA walked to the IT office where Trump Employee 4 was working with another employee in the IT department. DE OLIVEIRA requested that Trump Employee 4 step away from the office so that DE OLIVEIRA and Trump Employee 4 could talk.
84. At 9:49 a.m., Trump Employee 4 and DE OLIVEIRA left the area of the IT office together and walked through a basement tunnel. DE OLIVEIRA took Trump Employee 4 to a small room known as an “audio closet” near the White and Gold Ballroom. Once inside the audio closet, DE OLIVEIRA and Trump Employee 4 had the following exchange:
a. DE OLIVEIRA told Trump Employee 4 that their conversation should remain between the two of them.
b. DE OLIVEIRA asked Trump Employee 4 how many days the server retained footage. Trump Employee 4 responded that he believed it was approximately 45 days.
c. DE OLIVEIRA told Trump Employee 4 that “the boss” wanted the server deleted. Trump Employee 4 responded that he would not know how to do that, and that he did not believe that he would have the rights to do that. Trump Employee 4 told DE OLIVEIRA that DE OLIVEIRA would have to reach out to another employee who was a supervisor of security for TRUMP’s business organization. DE OLIVEIRA then insisted to TRUMP Employee 4 that ”the boss” wanted the server deleted and asked, “what are we going to do?”
At 3:55 Trump called De Oliveira and they spoke for about 3 and a half minutes.
Now for the Omertà part of our program:
On August 26, 2022, NAUTA called Trump Employee 5 and said words to the effect of, “someone just wants to make sure Carlos is good.”
In case this is unclear, “In response, Trump Employee 5 told NAUTA that DE OLIVEIRA was loyal and that DE OLIVEIRA would not do anything to affect his relationship with TRUMP.”
This is not normal working at a club talk. This is the kind of talk that organized crime engenders.
The government writes that on that same day, “TRUMP called DE OLIVEIRA and told DE OLIVEIRA that TRUMP would get DE OLIVEIRA an attorney.”
Trump has a long habit of paying for attorneys of witnesses who could spill the beans against him. These attorneys then often operate as if they represent Trump more than they do the individual.
Donald Trump has continued to maintain that he is not guilty of any of these charges and that all of these indictments are witch hunts.
This part of the indictment is damning not only because of what these people were allegedly conspiring to hide, but also because it shows a wild unlawfulness on Trump’s part and a deep comfort with lying to and evading law enforcement, using a large network of people to conspire to hide evidence, and treating employees as pawns in his criminal agenda.
What makes this even more remarkable is that right now, Republicans are desperately trying to paint, without evidence or cause, President Joe Biden as a “crime boss.” Joe Biden. The man we’ve all known for decades and not a peep of criminality has been uttered against him, not even when he was running as Vice President or President.
Yet right here, we have mountains of evidence of Trump operating like an organized crime boss. And it’s hardly the first time. Trump was criminally indicted in March of 2023 in New York for falsifying business records in an effort to suppress negative press resulting in a hush money payout scheme to an adult film actress to silence her about their affair. Those charges stemmed from subsidiaries of the Trump organization being found guilty of 17 charges, including tax fraud, in December 2022.
And to further blow all of our minds, this man is currently the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination and he might well be a convicted felon before he even gets the nomination. If the Republican Party were not operating as a crime organization itself, it would have run far away from Trump the first time the words “criminal indictment” were uttered against the former president. And surely by the time they heard that he endangered our national security and our troops, they would have run as far away as they could get.
But their willing complicity has taken them to the gates of Hell in efforts to falsely conflate their ginned-up nonsense against Biden with the very alarming evidence against Donald Trump. Perhaps being led by an organized crime boss is not, actually, an error in judgment, but rather a perfect fit for the party that corrupted our political processes to such an extent that they are endangering democracy.
Don the Con, operating as a crime boss, fully supported by a party that has completely lost its way.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.