Trump co-defendant asks judge to dismiss charges against him in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

Carlos De Oliveira, one of former President Donald Trump’s co-defendants in the classified documents criminal case, asked a judge to dismiss the charges against him Thursday because he had “no clue” what was in the boxes he moved around Mar-a-Lago.

Lawyers for De Oliveira, who was the property manager at Mar-a-Lago, argued in a new court filing Thursday that their client did not knowingly obstruct justice because he was unaware of the Justice Department investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified information when he helped co-defendant Walt Nauta move boxes of documents around the Florida club.

Special counsel Jack Smith has charged De Oliveira with multiple obstruction-related offenses. De Oliveira and his co-defendants have pleaded not guilty, with the former president also filing several motions Thursday to dismiss the case.

“The Superseding Indictment does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira ever saw a classified document. It does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira was aware of the presence of any classified documents in the boxes that he moved,” De Oliveira’s lawyers wrote Thursday.

The indictment “does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira was even aware of any government investigation” or understanding of Justice Department subpoenas when he moved boxes containing documents around Mar-a-Lago, they wrote.

His lawyers continued, “The Indictment does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira had any involvement in moving the approximately 64 boxes to President Trump’s residence, or that he was aware that any boxes even existed beyond the approximately 30 that he and Mr. Nauta moved into the storage room on June 2, 2022. Thus, the Indictment alleges, at least as far as Mr. De Oliveira was concerned, that Mr. De Oliveira essentially sought to hide from Trump Attorney 1 the very boxes that Trump Attorney 1 reviewed only hours after they were moved into the storage room.”

CNN has previously reported that surveillance video turned over to the Justice Department showed Nauta and De Oliveira moving document boxes around the resort, including into a storage room just before Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran searched it for classified documents.

Justice Department officials came to Mar-a-Lago the day after Corcoran’s search in June 2022, and Corcoran handed over 38 classified documents he had found. Yet the FBI retrieved more than 100 classified documents when it searched Mar-a-Lago in August, both in the storage room and Trump’s office.

De Oliveira’s lawyers also asked the judge to dismiss charges accusing him of lying to the FBI during a voluntary interview, saying the agent was asking “broken questions” that “sound more like a teenager trying to order a pizza.” Even so, his lawyers argued, De Oliveira’s alleged lies did not affect prosecutors’ investigation.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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