A former director of information technology at Mar-a-Lago won’t face criminal charges after cooperating with special counsel Jack Smith in his probe into former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents, according to a new court filing.
Yuscil Taveras, who was identified as “Trump Employee 4” in the superseding indictment filed by Smith earlier this year, reached a deal with prosecutors after receiving a target letter saying he would be investigated for allegedly making misleading statements, according to the filing from the worker’s former attorney Stanley Woodward.
Taveras then agreed to strike a “non-prosecution agreement” with Smith and change his testimony, Woodward wrote.
Taveras appeared before a grand jury in July. His testimony resulted in new charges against Trump, his aide Walt Nauta and a new defendant, Carlos De Oliveira, a property manager at the Florida estate.
The former IT director testified that he was pressured by De Oliveira to delete surveillance footage from the Mar-a-Lago servers, which the indictment explains was an effort to conceal the video from the grand jury.
De Oliveira allegedly told Taveras “‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
Trump, Nauta and De Oliveira have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a court filing last month, Smith requested a hearing to determine whether Woodward had a conflict of interest in representing Nauta given that he previously represented Taveras and six other clients who have been interviewed by prosecutors. Smith stressed that would be an issue if Woodward had to cross-examine a former client were they to testify in the trial.
“The conflict may result in the attorney’s improper use or disclosure of the client’s confidences during the cross-examination,” Smith wrote, according to The Washington Post. “The conflict may cause the attorney to pull his punches during cross-examination, perhaps to protect the client’s confidences or to ‘advance the attorney’s own personal interests.’”
But Woodward took issue with the assertion, claiming he had nothing to do with Taveras’ July grand jury appearance. He added that he did not oppose Taveras getting another lawyer.
“It is telling that the Non-Prosecution Agreement it ultimately offered Trump Employee 4 was not offered before the District Court had agreed to appoint ‘conflict counsel,’” Woodward wrote in a surreply.
He also claimed that Taveras himself said he “wasn’t coached” to conceal his conversation with De Oliveira.
Woodward added that Taveras should be barred from giving evidence.
“The Court should preclude Trump Employee 4 from testifying at a trial in this matter,” Woodward said.
The trial in Trump’s classified documents case ― one of four criminal indictments he’s currently facing as he runs for president ― has been scheduled for May 20, 2024.