An individual identified in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictments of Donald Trump as “Trump Employee 4” changed his testimony after switching attorneys.
Revised testimony from the Trump employee, whom Fox News identified as Mar-a-Lago tech worker Yuscil Tavares, led to a superseding indictment from a Washington, D.C. grand jury.
Initially, Mr. Tavares “repeatedly denied or claimed not to recall” any discussions or interactions related to the security footage at Mar-a-Lago. That testimony was given when he was represented by Stanley Woodard.
Mr. Woodard was also the attorney representing Mr. Trump and his valet, Walt Natua, according to the Fox report.
Tavares was informed in July he was under investigation and his attorney might have a potential conflict of interest due to representing other individuals involved in the investigation.
The chief judge overseeing the Washington, D.C. grand jury offered him a federal public defender to “provide advice” about potential conflicts.
“On July 5, 2023, Trump Employee 4 informed Chief Judge Boasberg that he no longer wished to be represented by Mr. Woodward and that, going forward, he wished to be represented by the First Assistant Federal Defender,” Mr. Smith claimed in court documents.
“Immediately after receiving new counsel, Trump Employee 4 retracted his prior false testimony and provided information that implicated Nauta, De Oliveira, and Trump in efforts to delete security camera footage, as set forth in the superseding indictment.”
The changed testimony by Tavares about Mr. Nauta and Mr. De Oliveira appeared key to the decision by Smith’s team to indict Mr. De Oliveira in late July in connection with allegedly helping delete security footage.
That could be problematic for Special Counsel Smith because the switch of representation before a Washington grand jury is under review by the Florida judge overseeing the trial for his first set of indictments against Trump.
Florida judge Aileen Cannon asked Woodward whether it was legitimate to have two grand juries in a single case, according to a report from The New York Times.
Woodward said he thought it was not legitimate. He asked Judge Cannon to consider striking testimony from Taveras for that reason.
Judge Cannon has not ruled on the matter but if she does strike the flip-flopping testimony, it could hamper the superseding indictment brought by the government against Mr. De Oliveira and Mr. Trump.
A trial concerning the classified documents case is scheduled for May 20, 2024. Trump has entered a plea of not guilty and has refuted any allegations of misconduct.
In addition to this, Trump is also facing prosecution by Smith for endeavors to challenge the 2020 presidential election results. There are also ongoing criminal cases in Georgia related to efforts to influence that state’s vote and another in New York tied to payments made to an adult film actor.