The Mar-a-Lago employee mentioned in the updated indictment, which includes serious allegations against former President Donald Trump and a new co-defendant, has been identified as Yuscil Taveras, an information technology worker who was responsible for overseeing the surveillance camera footage at the property.
The special counsel’s team had previously received testimony about unusual conversations involving Taveras, Walt Nauta, and the new co-defendant, Carlos De Oliveira, the property manager, in relation to the surveillance footage. Testimony presented to the grand jury in Washington, before the case was fully transferred to southern Florida, also addressed De Oliveira’s behavior regarding the footage.
Taveras is central to the new allegations in the indictment, particularly involving an exchange he had with De Oliveira on June 27, 2022.
During this conversation, De Oliveira requested a private discussion in an “audio closet” with Taveras, asking about the duration of the security tape footage and the possibility of deleting it. According to the indictment, Taveras replied that he wouldn’t know how to delete the footage and didn’t believe he had the authority to do so. In response, De Oliveira mentioned that “the boss” wanted the footage deleted, referring to Trump.
Over the past few months, prosecutors have been investigating the extent to which Trump’s directives influenced the actions of his employees during the summer of 2022. The criminal inquiry has even delved into suspicious events, like the draining of the pool at the Florida beach club, which led to flooding in an IT room.
Although De Oliveira was involved in the pool incident, it was not mentioned in the latest court filing. However, Thursday’s indictment suggests that prosecutors now possess more direct evidence of Trump orchestrating his employees’ attempts to tamper with surveillance footage that showed them moving boxes of records sought by the federal government.
De Oliveira is scheduled to be arraigned in Miami, and he will need to hire a Florida-based attorney for his defense.
The indictment revealed that after the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago last August, concerns were raised about De Oliveira’s loyalty within Trump’s circle. According to the indictment, Trump called De Oliveira “and told De Oliveira that Trump would get De Oliveira an attorney.”
At present, De Oliveira is represented by John Irving. Trump’s super PAC, Save America, has paid substantial amounts to law firms representing Nauta, De Oliveira, and Taveras during their interactions with federal criminal investigators. It remains uncertain how the new charges will impact these legal relationships.