ABC News And The New York Times report that another employee of the Trump Organization received a targeted letter in the federal criminal case against Donald Trump for mishandling classified documents. Special Counsel Jack Smith sent the unnamed “low-level” employee a target letter in recent weeks saying the employee could face indictment.
This still unnamed employee testified before a grand jury in Washington, DC, in May. The notification that they are currently under investigation suggests Smith and his team have evidence the staffer may have committed perjury in that testimony. This time it’s not about handling the documents, but about handling surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago showing Trump’s co-defendant Walt Nauta moving boxes of those documents.
ABC sources said “the government does not consider the footage deleted or destroyed, but is instead focused on potential efforts to obstruct the investigation.” It is therefore possible that this employee of the Trump Organization could be charged with both perjury and obstruction.
Trump and his “body man” Nauta were charged last month on 37 counts, including 31 charges of willfully withholding national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act. The indictments accuse Trump and Nauta of conspiring to prevent the government from seizing the documents, many of them highly classified, up to and including a detailed list of the country’s nuclear arsenal. Trump is also accused of illegally possessing all of these documents after leaving office.
Prosecutors send targeted letters to people under investigation to alert them to possible criminal charges. Black-smith sent Trump a target letter a week before the Florida grand jury indicted him. The warning presumably gives that employee the opportunity to come clean with prosecutors and cooperate, or possibly face charges. Stanley Woodward Jr., the employee’s attorney, did not comment. When ABC contacted them to ask about the letter and their discussions with investigators, they replied, “That’s none of your business.” (Note: ABC used the pronoun “sound” in this story.)
Judge Aileen Cannon has been assigned to the federal case against Trump and his aide, Nauta. Cannon, a terribly inexperienced judge who was appointed by Donald Trump, has a proven record of siding with Trump in previous cases. She is currently considering Trump’s request for an indefinite postponement of the trial, potentially pushing it back until after the 2024 election. Smith’s team has requested that it be fixed in December.
What is clear from this target letter is that the investigation is ongoing and Smith’s team continues to gather evidence, potentially opening another avenue for further charges against the Trump Organization for obstructing the beyond the indictments of Trump and Nauta.
Ultimately, the investigation into the Trump Organization, and Trump himself, did not stop. It also means further revelations of these and possibly other Trump crimes can be expected, and it puts some pressure on Cannon to act as a true judge rather than part of the team. Trump.