Former President Trump in a new interview said he would be willing to testify that an allegation by prosecutors that he acted with an alleged co-conspirator to delete security footage is false.
The Justice Department in July filed a superseding indictment in the case over Trump’s retention of classified documents after leaving office that accused Trump of working with the property manager to delete surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Asked about the charge by Kristen Welker on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Trump called the allegation “false.”
“Would you testify to that under oath?” Welker asked.
“Sure, I’m going to – I’ll testify,” Trump said.
Trump also called it a “fake charge” brought by a “deranged lunatic prosecutor,” referring to special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the documents investigation and the federal case against Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and remain in power.
The former president went on to claim that there was “noting done” to the security tapes in question.
“And, they were my tapes. I could have fought them,” Trump continued. “I didn’t even have to give them the tapes, I don’t think. I think I would have won in court. When they asked for the tapes, I said, ‘Sure.’ They’re my tapes. I could have fought them. I didn’t even have to give them. Just so you understand, though, we didn’t delete anything. Nothing was deleted.”
The superseding indictment filed in July brought the total number of counts in the case against the former president to 40. The original indictment alleged he violated both the Espionage Act and obstructed justice in taking classified records from his presidency and refusing to return them.
The new charges brought by prosecutors accused Trump of acting with Carlos de Oliveira, the property manager of Mar-a-Lago, and Trump’s other co-defendant, Walt Nauta, with trying to delete the security footage.
The indictment notes efforts from de Oliveira, 56, to determine how long security footage was stored on the Mar-a-Lago system. It says he later told another Mar-a-Lago employee that “‘the boss’ wanted the server deleted.”
The indictment also described de Oliveira and Nauta organizing their plans secretly, apparently walking among the bushes around the IT office where the security footage was managed.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case, which is set to go to trial in Florida next May.
Trump in an interview earlier this month with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt similarly suggested he would be willing to testify at his own trial, though his lawyers may ultimately object, given the former president’s reputation for making false or misleading statements.
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