Justice Department looking at Trump Organization’s handling of Mar-a-Lago surveillance tapes

·2-min read

A pair of Trump Organization executives are reportedly expected to give evidence before the Washington DC grand jury examining whether former president Donald Trump obstructed a Department of Justice probe into his alleged unlawful retention of national defence information.

According to CNN, Special Counsel Jack Smith has issued a round of grand jury subpoenas to Matthew Calamari Sr and his son, Matthew Calamari Jr. The Calamaris are both longtime executives at Mr Trump’s eponymous real estate and hospitality company, where the elder Mr Calamari serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer and his son serves as director of security.

Prosecutors working for Mr Smith are reportedly expected to question both men about how the Trump Organization handled surveillance footage which the Department of Justice subpoenaed as part of the ongoing probe into whether Mr Trump unlawfully retained national defence information at Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach, Florida mansion turned social club where the twice-impeached ex-president maintains his primary residence.

Mr Smith’s team has also questioned other Trump Organization employees about the security footage depicting parts of Mar-a-Lago where FBI agents found hundreds of documents bearing classification markings during an 8 August 2022 search of the property.

The prosecutors have asked how the footage was handled and inquired into whether it could have been tampered with before it was handed over to the FBI.

They’ve also pressed witnesses about a text message from Walt Nauta, a former Navy Chief Petty Officer who served as Mr Trump’s White House valet and has continued working for the ex-president as a civilian. The text message reportedly was sent to the elder Mr Calamari and pertained to the surveillance footage. Prosecutors have also asked about conversations between Mr Nauta and Mr Calamari on the same topic.

Mr Nauta previously told investigators that Mr Trump directed him to move boxes containing classified documents after he was served with a June 2022 subpoena compelling him to turn over any such documents in his possession.