Mar-a-Lago's Ex-IT Chief Will Testify Against Trump: Report

Yuscil Taveras reportedly signs deal to avoid prosecution in classified documents case
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2023 8:43 AM CDT
Former IT Head Agrees to Testify Against Trump: Report
An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

A former attorney for the Mar-a-Lago ex-employee who flipped against his onetime boss, former President Trump, has revealed more about what allegedly went down. The former head of IT at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, identified by media outlets as Yuscil Taveras, has agreed to testify as a witness for the office of special counsel Jack Smith in the case accusing Trump of mishandling classified documents, according to a Wednesday court filing from his former attorney, per Reuters. In exchange for testifying, the ex-employee, who's described alleged efforts to delete security footage at the estate, will avoid prosecution, according to the document, which identifies him only as "Trump Employee 4," per CNN.

Smith had threatened to prosecute Taveras for lying to a grand jury, the document claims, per Reuters. Earlier reports indicate Taveras initially told the grand jury that he didn't recall conversations about security footage at Mar-a-Lago. After switching lawyers, he reportedly implicated Trump and the former president's two co-defendants, valet Walt Nauta and club maintenance chief Carlos De Oliveira. De Oliveira allegedly told Taveras that "the boss" wanted the security footage deleted. Taveras apparently objected. That testimony prompted new allegations against Trump, Nauta, and De Oliveira included in a superseding indictment filed in July, per CNN.

There was no comment Wednesday from the special counsel's office or from Taveras' current lawyer. His former lawyer, Stanley Woodward, who penned the filing, currently represents Nauta. Prosecutors say that could present a potential conflict of interest, especially if Woodward has to cross-examine his former client. US District Judge Aileen Cannon is expected to hold a hearing on the issue. Woodward has asked the judge to block Taveras from testifying at trial. In Wednesday's filing, he suggested there was impropriety involved in the agreement, saying his former client gave new testimony to the grand jury only after he was offered a non-prosecution deal, per Reuters. (More Mar-a-Lago indictment stories.)

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