Donald Trump’s property manager at Mar-a-Lago appears to have a difference of opinion with his boss.
The employee, Carlos DeOliveira, on Tuesday invoked his right to a speedy trial.
In a filing late Tuesday in the U.S. Government’s classified documents case against the former president, DeOliveira’s local attorney, Larry Donald Murrell of West Palm Beach, writes that the order by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that sets May 24, 2024, as the trial date, came before DeOliveira was named as a co-defendant in a superseding indictment that charged him for the first time.
The judge’s order came on July 21. The indictment adding DeOliveira to the case was handed up on July 27. He made his initial appearance on July 31 and was arraigned on Aug. 10.
“Mr. DeOliveira has not filed any motions in this case,” Murrell’s filing says. “He does not concede that the interests of justice require a delay in his trial, and he asserts his right to a speedy trial within 70 days of his first appearance on July 31, 2023.
“By undersigned counsel’s calculations,” Murrell added, “that would be October 9, 2023.”
Murrell’s brief speedy trial report, which was requested by the government, ends there with no further comments.
But the suggestion that a trial should start in early October is at wide variance with the wishes of the former president and his defense lawyers, who earlier this summer argued before Cannon for a variety of reasons that the case should not go to trial until after the November 2024 presidential election. Among other things, attorneys Todd Blanche and Christopher Sise cited other pending litigation faced by Trump, voluminous amounts of evidence to be reviewed before jury selection, and the likelihood that he would be a candidate in the race for the White House.
The court docket shows no entry of a severance motion that could lead to DeOliveira being tried separately from Trump and personal aide Waltine Nauta.
Both DeOliveira and Nauta are charged in the case with allegedly trying to block investigators from recovering government papers held by Trump.
Government: Witness changed story
In the meantime, the government, in a filing also posted late Tuesday, disclosed that a Trump technology employee in Palm Beach who monitored surveillance cameras at Mar-a-Lago changed his testimony before a Washington, D.C. grand jury and implicated Trump, Nauta and DeOliveira in the obstruction of justice portion of the case.
The person, dubbed “Trump Employee 4” in court filings, changed his story after obtaining a public defender to represent him after previously using a lawyer paid for by a Trump political action committee, according to prosecutors. The employee, who is not charged in the case or named in the filing, originally told grand jurors he knew nothing about efforts to erase videos of Trump aides moving documents out of the reach of federal investigators.
But after “Trump Employee 4” obtained the new attorney, the government said, he “immediately … retracted his prior false testimony” and told of an alleged effort to tamper with the video evidence.
The government made the disclosure in a filing requested by Judge Cannon, who has questioned why prosecutors collected evidence from the Washington grand jury after the original 37-count indictment had been obtained against Trump and Nauta from a grand jury in Miami.
Prosecutors have previously raised concerns about a conflict of interest involving Washington attorney Stanley Woodward Jr., who at one point represented both Nauta and Trump Employee 4.
“The Government anticipates calling Trump Employee 4 as a trial witness and expects that he will testify to conduct alleged in the superseding indictment regarding efforts to delete security footage,” the government lawyers said. “Trump Employee 4 will very likely face cross-examination about his prior inconsistent statements in his grand jury testimony, which occurred while Mr. Woodward represented him, and which he disavowed immediately after obtaining new counsel.”