Former President Donald Trump has said that the allegation that he had security tapes deleted is false, and that he would testify to this under oath.
“It’s false,” he told host Kristen Welker on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“Would you testify to that under oath?” Ms. Welker asked.
“Sure, I’ll testify,” he said. “It’s a fake charge,” he added.
“More importantly, the tapes weren’t deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think. I think I would’ve won in court. When they asked for the tapes, I said, ‘Sure,'” President Trump said.
Previews of the episode, which airs Sunday, were published on Thursday.
“Just so you understand, though, we didn’t delete anything. Nothing was deleted,” he added. “Number one, the statement is false. Much more importantly, when the tapes came—and everybody says this—they weren’t deleted, we gave them 100 percent.”
This April, President Trump was indicted after a years-long battle with the Department of Justice (DOJ), months after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate to obtain documents they allege he illegally kept from the DOJ after a subpoena. He pleaded not guilty and maintains that he has done nothing wrong.
Months later, three additional charges were added regarding alleged deletion of security footage.
Recently, a witness emerged with a changed testimony. The indictment against President Trump had listed an unnamed “Employee 4,” an IT director at Mar-a-Lago, who initially testified to a grand jury in Washington that he had no knowledge that President Trump, codefendant and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira, and his codefendant and butler Walt Nauta had deleted or discussed deleting security tape footage that covered where the documents were stored.
He later said otherwise.
The change was revealed by special counsel Jack Smith’s office, which framed it as a change that happened “immediately after receiving new counsel,” which allowed him to “retract his prior false testimony.”
They wrote that he provided information that “that implicated Nauta, De Oliveira, and Trump in efforts to delete security camera footage, as set forth in the superseding indictment.”
However, the employee’s former attorney refuted the special counsel’s description of events, and alleged that the employee changed his testimony because Mr. Smith’s office made him a deal, not because he was granted another lawyer.
The employee was previously represented by Stanley Woodward, an attorney who is also still representing co-defendant Mr. Nauta. The DOJ raised this as a conflict-of-interest issue, which led to the change in representation. According to transcripts, the employee welcomed the assignment of the public defender, as did Mr. Woodward.
But in the later court filing, Mr. Woodward revealed that his former client had told the court he would like the public defender assigned to him only after they received a letter “threatening Trump Employee 4 with prosecution,” and yet after the assignment, the special counsel’s office “immediately offered Trump Employee 4 a Non-Prosecution Agreement.”
In a separate interview, President Trump had said he would “absolutely” testify in the trials he faces. In addition to the documents case in Florida, he faces a federal trial in Washington regarding his challenge of the 2020 elections, a state trial in Georgia for much the same, another criminal case in Manhattan for allegedly mishandling business records, and several more civil cases.
“At trial, I’ll testify,” he told radio host Hugh Hewitt early September, adding that he looked forward to it.
He has thus far not testified in cases against him: one civil case brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll over defamation and sexual battery was ruled in her favor this May, and he had not testified in his impeachment trials.
“They’ll get dismissed, but we’re going to be asking, we’re going to be asking for dismissals of these politically motivated cases,” he said. “This is a scam. This is election interference.”
He declined to give Mr. Hewitt the specific answers he would give in a testimony, but added that he was “totally covered under the law.”
In the interview with Ms. Welker, President Trump also said it was “very unlikely” he’d pardon himself in these cases.
“I could have pardoned myself. Do you know what? I was given an option to pardon myself. I could have pardoned myself when I left,” he said.
He added that many people told him to give himself a pardon because “your life will be a lot easier,” but he told them “the last thing I’d ever do is give myself a pardon,” because he was innocent in the first place.
“Even if you were reelected in this moment?” Ms. Welker asked.
“Well, I think it’s very unlikely,” he said. “What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong. You mean because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”
From The Epoch Times