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Mar-a-Lago property manager makes first court appearance in classified documents case

Carlos De Oliveira, the Mar-a-Lago property manager and newest co-defendant in the special counsel’s criminal case charging former President Donald Trump and his staff with mishandling classified information, made his initial appearance in a Miami courtroom on Monday.

De Oliveira was indicted by a grand jury Thursday on four charges, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to the FBI.

On Monday, he was informed of his rights as a criminal defendant but did not enter a formal plea during the roughly 10-minute hearing.

He will be arraigned on August 10 in Ft. Pierce, Florida. He was released on a $100,000 bond pending trial.

Trump and his aide Walt Nauta, the third co-defendant in the case, have already pleaded not guilty after initially being indicted in June.

Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres also ordered De Oliveira not to discuss the case with potential witnesses except through counsel, and prosecutors provided the defendant with a list of names. Trump and Nauta also were given a similar condition for their release. In addition, Torres said De Oliveira cannot travel outside south Florida without permission.

De Oliveira did not have a lawyer listed who is able to practice in Florida, where the case will be tried. Nauta faced a similar problem when he was first charged, and though he was able to proceed with his initial appearance alongside Trump in June, Nauta was forced to delay his arraignment until he had a Florida lawyer.

De Oliveira left the courthouse surrounded by reporters after his hearing concluded. He was escorted by federal agents and his attorney, John Irving.

De Oliveira declined to answer questions as he walked to the second building, including whether he had spoken to Trump since his arrest, whether he testified to a grand jury as part of the special counsel’s investigation and whether he had identified a Florida lawyer to hire.

“The Justice Department has unfortunately decided to bring these charges,” Irving said, “and now it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is.”

Prosecutors in June accused the former president of mishandling several classified documents he had taken with him from the White House, further alleging that Trump schemed with Nauta, a Navy veteran and Trump’s close aide, to hide the documents from investigators.

The special counsel’s office added to those allegations on Thursday, saying that the three men together tried to delete security footage the Justice Department sought as part of its investigation.

After the security footage was subpoenaed by investigators, De Oliveira allegedly told the director of IT at Mar-a-Lago that “the boss” wanted the server the footage was kept on deleted, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors also accused De Oliveira of lying to FBI agents during a voluntary interview in January about whether he helped Nauta move boxes of classified documents around Mar-a-Lago.

De Oliveira has worked at Mar-a-Lago for more than 20 years, CNN has reported. He became property manager of the club in January 2022, according to the indictment, and previously served as a valet and maintenance worker.

Several people close to Trump, as well as people who know De Oliveira personally, told CNN that De Oliveira is not in Trump’s inner circle. Eight current and former Trump aides and allies who frequently visited Mar-a-Lago described De Oliveira as a maintenance worker who did odd jobs around the club and who did not frequently interact with club members or Trump’s team.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

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