Former President Donald Trump says he will testify under oath that he never ordered the deletion of videos at Mar-a-Lago. Trump made his first broadcast interview since leaving office in an interview with Meet the Press’s new host Kristen Welker.
When asked if he would testify Trump replied, “Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify.”
“But more importantly, the tapes weren’t deleted,” he added. “In other words, there was nothing done to them. And they were my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think.”
Superseding Indictment Alleged Trump Ordered Recording Deleted
Special Counsel Jack Smith alleged in the superseding indictment filed in July that the former president ordered the deletion of security camera footage to allegedly prevent the FBI from discovering the removal of classified material.
The superseding indictment stated that “[a]ny and all surveillance records, videos, images, photographs and/or CCTV from internal cameras’ at certain locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club, including ‘on ground floor (basement),’ from January I0, 2022, to June 24, 2022” should be handed over to investigators. Three days later on Jun. 27, 2022 Trump allegedly ordered Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliviera, co-defendant in the case, to erase the security recording.
Mar-a-Lago IT worker Yuscil Taveras, referred to as “Trump Employee 4” signed an agreement with the Justice Department to testify against Trump. Taveras will likely testify in Trump’s case as well as that of longtime valet Walt Nauta.
Prosecutors allege that De Oliviera told Taveras that “the boss,” Trump, wanted the surveillance recordings deleted. Nauta’s attorney Stanley Woodward Jr., who formerly represented Taveras, claims that prosecutors can use the indictment to pressure witnesses into giving information. Taveras did not have first-hand knowledge of Trump’s alleged order.
Trump Claims Smith Fabricated Charge
Trump claims that Smith fabricated the charge and it has no basis.
“It’s a fake charge by this deranged lunatic, that prosecutor, who lost in the Supreme Court nine to nothing and he tried to destroy lots of lives,” he added. “He’s a lunatic, so it’s a fake charge… The tapes weren’t deleted. In other words, there was nothing done to them.”
Trump Denies That He Would Pardon Himself
Trump told Welker that he had considered pardoning himself in the last days of his administration, but decided against it because he believed he did nothing wrong.
“I was given the option to pardon myself when I left,” Trump said. “I had a couple of attorneys that said you can do it if you want. I had some people that said it would look bad if you did, because I think it would look terrible.
Trump continued, “I said these people are thugs. Horrible people, fascists, Marxists, sick people. They have been after me from the day I came down the escalator with Melania, and I did a great job as president. People are acknowledging that we had a great economy. Great jobs. Great this great that. We rebuilt the military … I said the last thing I would do is give myself a pardon.”
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.
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