Former President Trump denies ever asking a Mar-a-Lago staffer to delete surveillance video footage sought by investigators as a part of the classified documents probe that led to one of his federal indictments.
Driving the news: “That’s false,” Trump said when asked of the allegation in an interview on with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that will air in full on Sunday. Asked whether he’d testify to the claim under oath, Trump said: “Sure, I’m going to — I’ll testify.”
“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.”
Catch up quick: Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office filed a superseding indictment in July levying new charges against Trump and Walt Nauta in the classified documents case. Smith also charged a third defendant — Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos de Oliveira — in the case.
The superseding indictment alleged that in June 2022, De Oliveira pulled aside another employee at Trump’s Florida residence, identified in media reports as Yuscil Taveras, and asked him to delete the security camera footage to prevent it falling into investigators’ hands.
Last month Taveras “retracted his prior false testimony” after hiring a new lawyer, per a court filing from Smith’s office.
Judge Aileen Cannon scheduled Trump’s classified documents trial for May 20, 2024.
He is facing 40 criminal counts related to obstruction of justice and his alleged efforts to retain classified information after he left the White House.
State of play: This isn’t the first time the former president has pushed back against allegations in the classified documents case.
“These were my tapes that we gave to them,” Trump said in July in response to the initial charges.