New information is being revealed about the scope of Jack Smith’s investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified information at Mar-a-Lago and depicts a startling number of seemingly random people now caught up in his prosecution.
A CNN report on Thursday detailed for the first time how Mr Smith’s team of prosecutors is considering calling a number of lower-level staff at Mr Trump’s sprawling resort complex in Palm Beach to testify in the case against the former president. Those unnamed staffers include a maid assigned to clean Mr Trump’s living area, a woodworker who was called to the premises for work on a project in Mr Trump’s bedroom, and even the ex-president’s personal chauffeur, according to CNN.
One source told the network that the woodworker told investigators he saw a stack of papers in the suite, in the vicinity of where investigators have alleged the ex-president was keeping all or part of his documents stash. The worker reportedly told authorities that he wasn’t sure whether or not the papers he saw were classified, and described thinking of them as a possible movie prop, according to CNN.
The network also reported, citing one person familiar with the ex-president’s reaction, that Mr Trump went “ballistic” when he learned Jack Smith’s team was speaking to his maid.
The twice-impeached ex-president has plead not guilty to more than three dozen criminal charges relating to the case. He is accused of hoarding sensitive military documents and other classified information at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and attempting to destroy evidence of his supposed crimes along with his valet, Walt Nauta, and Mar-a-Lago’s property manager.
The former president also remains under a number of other criminal investigations, and was most recently charged with numerous felonies in Fulton County, Georgia. At the same time, he remains the heavy favourite to win the Republican nomination for president, according to all available polling.
His trial in the case is currently set for May of 2024, but a judge in the case has indicated that she may delay that date to give Mr Trump’s team more time to review the government’s evidence.
The ex-president is reported to be plotting to block the Justice Department’s prosecutions of him should he win the presidency next year.