(LifeSiteNews) — Former U.S. President Donald J. Trump has been hit with additional federal charges in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, according to an updated federal grand jury indictment released Thursday.
In addition to the new counts against the former president related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents in his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, another individual, identified as Carlos De Oliveira, has also been added as a defendant in the indictment.
According to NBC News, De Oliveria is a Mar-a-Lago maintenance official. The other defendant that is not Trump is Walt Nauta, an aide of the former president.
The updated indictment accuses Trump of telling a staffer to delete camera footage captured at his Florida dwelling in an alleged effort to obstruct the Department of Justice’s investigation against him.
The Associated Press reported that a Trump spokesperson immediately dismissed the new charges in a statement, calling them “nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt” by the Biden DOJ “to harass President Trump and those around him.”
The first U.S. president in history to face federal charges from the DOJ, Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13 to 37 felony charges pertaining to his alleged mishandling of classified documents. FBI agents previously carried out an unprecedented raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida last summer to retrieve the files.
Thirty-one of the 37 charges concern the willful retention of national defense information, and the remaining six include making false statements, corruptly concealing documents or records, and conspiracy to obstruct justice, The Daily Wire reported.
Most Republicans have condemned the charges against Trump as the political weaponization of the federal government, selective prosecution of political opponents, and an attack on the democratic process in the lead-up to an election year, LifeSiteNews previously noted.
Many, including Trump, have also pointed out that politicians, including Joe Biden and Mike Pence, have also improperly handled classified documents and yet have not been prosecuted by the DOJ. Officials are reportedly still investigating Biden’s treatment of classified documents, which reportedly included storing some in a garage next to his Corvette.
Trump has blasted his indictment on felony charges as “ridiculous and baseless” and predicted it “will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country.”
If found guilty of the charges lodged against him, Trump could face a sentence of dozens of years of prison. However, analysts have pointed out that even a guilty verdict and imprisonment would not preclude Trump from continuing to run for office — meaning he could theoretically become the Republican nominee, win the 2024 presidential election, and pardon himself.
Last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the federal trial for Trump to begin May 20, 2024. According to the order, federal prosecutors were gunning for a December 2023 start date and Trump’s defense had asked for the case to be delayed until after the 2024 presidential election, of which he is the leading Republican candidate.