Trump Property Manager Pleads Not Guilty in Mar-a-Lago Document Case

Trump Property Manager Pleads Not Guilty in Mar-a-Lago Document Case
Carlos De Oliveira (C), a property manager for former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, leaves the James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building with his lawyer John Irving (L) in Miami, Fla., on July 31, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FORT PIERCE, Fla.—Carlos De Oliveira, President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property manager, pleaded not guilty on Aug. 15 to conspiring with the former president to delete security footage at the Palm Beach club.

Mr. De Oliveira appeared at the Alto Lee Adams Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, for his arraignment before Magistrate Judge Shaniek M. Maynard.

He is accused of conspiring with President Trump to delete security footage requested by investigators inquiring about the former president’s alleged stockpiling of classified documents at his property.

Florida attorney Don Morrell represented Mr. De Oliveira.

Mr. Morrell filed a Pro Hac Vici that would allow Mr. De Oliveira’s Washington-based attorney, John Irving—who was not present—to stay on the case.

During the short hearing, the defendant was granted a trial by jury with discovery orders requiring the prosecutors to provide materials within two weeks.

Michael Thakur represented the Department of Justice’s special counsel Jack Smith’s office in the case.

Mr. Morrell’s services have been secured for the purposes of the upcoming trial only, and any further litigation—including an appeal—would require that Mr. De Oliveira make further arrangements with Mr. Morrell or another Florida-based attorney.

The group of reporters at the courthouse was considerably smaller than the group at President Trump’s Aug. 10 arraignment at the same courthouse.

Previous Appearance

Mr. De Oliveira was added to the indictment against President Trump and the former president’s aide, Walt Nauta, at the end of July and faces charges including obstruction of justice conspiracy and lying to investigators.

He did not enter a plea during a July 31 court appearance due to the requirement that he obtain a Florida-based representation.

During the previous hearing, the judge ordered Mr. De Oliveira to surrender his passport and execute an agreement to pay $100,000 if he failed to appear in court.

After the hearing, Mr. Irving expressed his eagerness to review any potential evidence the Justice Department may have. He refused to comment on whether Mr. De Oliveira had been requested to testify against President Trump.

Mr. Smith alleges that President Trump illegally “caused” boxes with some defense-related information in them to be moved to his home when leaving the White House and that he later directed Mr. Nauta, who is also facing charges in this case, to move boxes so they couldn’t be searched for documents that the Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed in 2022.

Mr. Nauta also pleaded not guilty when charged.

Mr. Smith added three more charges on July 27, alleging that President Trump asked the property manager at his Mar-a-Lago home, Mr. De Oliveira, to have security camera footage deleted after the DOJ subpoenaed some of the footage.

President Trump has repeatedly commented publicly that no footage was deleted and denied making any such request.

Case Against Trump

President Trump entered a plea of not guilty to three new charges brought by Mr. Smith during an Aug. 10 arraignment the same courthouse in Florida, also before Judge Maynard.

The former president has been charged with 38 counts of willful retention of national defense information, obstruction, and making false statements.

The presiding district judge—Trump administration appointee Judge Aileen Cannon—has scheduled the former president’s trial for May 2024.

In the most recent development of the case, President Trump’s attorneys have asked the judge to allow him to reestablish a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) that existed at his residence while he was in office, so that they can discuss classified case information with him without having to travel to a government SCIF.

One of his attorneys, Todd Blanche, noted that traveling to the SCIF facilities would necessitate Secret Service security measures that “take significant planning and effort, as well as financial resources,” particularly if the public is aware of the visit in advance.

“The public facility and surrounding area may need to be closed to the public for a significant period of time to ensure the safety of everyone, including President Trump,” Mr. Blanche said.

The prosecutors have opposed such an arrangement.

President Trump also faces numerous charges brought by Mr. Smith in the District of Columbia relating to his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

According to President Trump’s staff, he attempted to contest the election results through legal means.

Alvin Bragg, the district attorney for New York County, filed additional charges for the alleged falsifying of business records earlier this year.

President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges, characterizing them as interference with his 2024 presidential campaign motivated by partisan politics.

A district attorney in Georgia is anticipated to file additional charges related to Mr. Trump’s efforts to contest the 2020 election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times