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Trump lawyer says he would’ve been successful in destroying evidence if he wanted to

A superseding indictment against Mr Trump was handed down on Thursday, adding more charges against the former president

Kelly Rissman
Monday 31 July 2023 18:57 BST
Trump's lawyer Alina Habba says former president could have deleted evidence if he wanted to

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba has called Mr Trump the “most ethical American” she knows, while also saying he could have deleted the evidence if he so desired because he owns Mar-a-Lago, owns the IT, and pays his employees.

Speaking to “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream, Ms Habba said, “If there was an attempt for him to not turn over documents or he wanted something deleted, do you not think that this is something he couldn’t have gotten done? Let’s just use common sense. I think the American public forgets to use common sense.”

Ms Bream replied, “I mean that’s the allegation, is that he did try to talk to these employees and his employees said, ‘Eh, we may have to talk to someone else, I don’t know that I can even do that.’”

“Shannon, I know the facts and the facts are when President Trump gets a subpoena, it goes to the organization, and the organization turns it over,” Ms Habba interjected. “That is what actually happened.”

The host was referring to the superseding indictment handed down on Thursday, which detailed a conversation between two Trump employees: Carlos De Oliveira, a maintenance supervisor at Mar-a-Lago, and Yuscil Taveras, the director of IT.

The private discussion included Mr De Oliveira asking how long the server retained footage, adding that “the boss” wanted the footage deleted.

Mr Taveras, according to the indictment, told Mr De Oliveira would have to reach out to the supervisor of security.

Ms Habba also said “no tapes were deleted” and Mr Trump “cooperated.”

“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,” the former president’s attorney added.

Ms Habba was echoing Mr Trump’s claims. The former president wrote on Truth Social on Sunday: “Mar-a-Lago security tapes were not deleted.” He continued, “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!”

Special Counsel Jack Smith’s superseding indictment added several new counts against Mr Trump and Walt Nauta, his valet and co-defendant, as well as added another co-defendant: Mr De Oliveira.

Mr Trump wrote on the platform on Monday that he suspects the indictment surrounding the events of January 6 and efforts to overturn the 2020 election “will be coming out any day now.” He previously announced that the special counsel informed him that he was a “target” in that probe.

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