Mar-a-Lago IT worker has cooperation deal with special counsel, ex-lawyer says
Mar-a-Lago IT worker Yuscil Taveras has struck a cooperation agreement with the special counsel's office in the federal case over former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents, Taveras' former defense attorney said in a new court filing.
Taveras struck the deal with prosecutors after he was threatened with prosecution, defense attorney Stanley Woodward wrote in the filing dated Tuesday.
Taveras is referred to in the filing and in the superseding indictment as "Trump Employee 4," and CNN has identified him as that employee.
According to the terms of the deal explained in the filing, Taveras agreed to testify in the classified documents case and in exchange will not be prosecuted. He has not been charged with any crimes.
The filing marks the first public acknowledgment that special counsel Jack Smith has won the cooperation of key witnesses as part of his prosecution of Trump, his longtime valet Walt Nauta and Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira.
Prosecutors have argued that Woodward, who now represents Nauta, could face conflicts of interest – particularly if the defense lawyer has to cross-examine his former client – and that the judge overseeing the case should scrutinize those potential conflicts.
Woodward wrote in the filing Wednesday that he "played no role" in Taveras’ cooperation and said that prosecutors did not offer Taveras the cooperation deal until after Taveras got a different lawyer. Woodward asked the judge to block Taveras from testifying in any eventual trial.
Taveras' July testimony in front of a grand jury, which wasn't public, was the source of new allegations against Trump that were included in a superseding indictment filed later that month, CNN previously reported. Those allegations include efforts by Trump, de Oliveira and Nauta to delete incriminating security footage from the club.
Trump, de Oliveira and Nauta have pleaded not guilty to all allegations.
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