The night shift discussed Trump’s expanding universe of legal peril under Tom’s post here, but I’m still processing the new felony charges in the Disgraceland documents case. TPM’s summary is as follows:
- The number of counts in the indictment swelled from 38 to 42.
- Trump was hit with an additional charge of willful retention of national defense information (now 32 counts on that charge, up from 31) for the Iran war plan document he allegedly flaunted at Bedminster.
- The new defendant, a MAL worker named Carlos De Oliveira, was added to the existing conspiracy to obstruct justice count, so now all three defendants are charged in this count. In addition, De Oliveira gets his own false statements count.
- All three men were charged under a new count of altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing an object.
- All three men were charged under a new count of corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing an object.
De Oliviera is the Disgraceland property manager, having come up through the ranks starting as a valet, according to this Forbes coverage, which also notes that neighbors describe De Oliveira as “a nice guy who kept to himself and played golf.”
But as the feds closed in, the burning question among Trump’s buffas was whether De Oliveira was “loyal.” An excerpt from the indictment, via TPM as linked above:
91. Just over two weeks after the FBI discovered classified documents in the Storage Room and TRUMP’s office, on August 26, 2022, NAUTA called Trump Employee 5 and said words to the effect of, “someone just wants to make sure Carlos is good.” In response, Trump Employee 5 told NAUTA that DE OLIVEIRA was loyal and that DE OLIVEIRA would not do anything to affect his relationship with TRUMP. That same day, at NAUTA’s request, Trump Employee 5 confirmed in a Signal chat group with NAUTA and the PAC Representative that DE OLIVEIRA was loyal. That same day, TRUMP called DE OLIVEIRA and told DE OLIVEIRA that TRUMP would get DE OLIVEIRA an attorney.
As an aside, it sure sounds like this anonymous PAC representative is ass-deep in the criming! And De Oliveira proved loyal, if as alleged he was behind the plot to destroy servers containing the surveillance footage by draining the resort’s pool into the server room.
But it’s interesting that the Trump buffas were uncertain of De Oliveira’s status so recently. Maybe the prospect of jail time will reset his loyalties. But maybe not since Trump is paying for his lawyer.
By the way, it seems…not ideal that unrelated defendants who are jointly accused of a crime can pay for each other’s legal representation. One thing I’ll say for the Trump years, the ordeal has opened my eyes to lots of problematic aspects of the executive branch and the justice system. Maybe y’all knew all along that so much depends on the honor system. I did not.