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Trump’s former attorney Timothy Parlator believes Trump could be indicted in Florida

Washington – Donald Trump’s former criminal attorney said Wednesday that he believes charges can be brought in Florida and that the former president’s legal team has a plan to fight back, which would include motions to dismiss any indictment.

A grand jury was put together by Special Investigator Jack Smith’s team of Florida attorneys general — which recently heard testimony on Wednesday from Trump’s former spokesperson, Timothy Parlatore, in an interview with CBS News senior correspondent Kathryn Herridge. Taylor Bowditch It is a “very new development” and indicates that a decision on charging could be reached in the coming weeks. He said he only became aware of the grand jury after he left Trump’s legal team in mid-May.

Ballator says moving from Washington, D.C., where federal prosecutors have already interviewed many witnesses, to Florida, indicates that investigators have “mistaken” and admitted that the alleged misconduct being investigated occurred in Florida and would likely be prosecuted there. It is believed that the Washington, D.C., grand jury dealing with the matter may have concluded in mid-May.

Smith’s team is investigating Trump’s retention of classified documents from his tenure in the White House and alleged attempts to obstruct the investigation.

Parlatore said, “Florida has the best place for this. I think if you bring it to D.C., you’re making a pretty big motion of no. From everything I’ve seen, there are no allegations of wrongdoing that’s connected to DC.”

“The government transferred all the documents to Mar-a-Lago, not to Donald Trump. He was still president when he got to Mar-a-Lago. And then once he was a private citizen…it all happened in Florida, nothing happened in Capital “.

When Parlatore left in mid-May, he said a plan was already in place to respond to a possible indictment.

Trump’s legal team is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case, based on allegations of prosecutorial misconduct. While he said he did not know how the plan developed, “Any lawyer in this situation wants to have a good plan. And I have every confidence in [Trump’s current legal team]. ”

“You have to wait until you see the actual indictment to know what specifically you’re responding to, but there are so many issues with this case that it’s time to dismiss it, particularly on the obstruction side,” Parlatore said. .

Parlator told Herridge that he was “stunned” during his pre-grand jury interview testimony when prosecutors asked him about cases he said were protected by attorney-client privilege, which he believes is an improper line of cross-examination that he asserts crossed a legal “red line.”

Two people familiar with the investigation said Trump’s legal team is frustrated with the way Justice Department officials have handled attorney-client matters in recent months and raised concerns to Justice Department officials and to Smith himself in recent months. Monday meeting at the Ministry of Justice.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on Parlatore’s allegations.

Parlatore first began representing the former president last year, as the Justice Department investigated Trump’s retention of classified documents. He told CNN in May that he resigned from the legal team that same month, amid an internal struggle between representatives of the former president. A Trump spokesman denied there was any rift in his team.

After Trump’s other lawyers dealt with the Mar-a-Lago search, Parlatore took much of the blame for the Trump team’s search for more documents across the former president’s other properties — including Trump Tower in Manhattan and the former president’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club — He later appeared voluntarily before a grand jury to answer questions about the research. He alleged that he witnessed misconduct during this appearance.

After his testimony, in a statement, he said that “it is clear that the government has not acted appropriately and has made several improper attempts to breach the franchise and, in my opinion, has made several significant false statements to [grand] jury, which I believe constitutes misconduct on the part of the prosecution.”

Parlatore was also among the attorneys who sent a letter to Congress asking the Department of Justice to “stand down” from the investigation of the documents. In the letter, he and Trump attorney Jim Trusty said the former president’s departure from the White House after the election was hasty and that staff “simply swept all documents from the president’s desk and other areas into boxes” that were then transported to Florida. But Trump said during a town hall meeting last month that he took the papers and was “allowed” to do so, apparently contradicting assurances from his lawyer.

In that letter to Congress, Parlatore and Trusty disclosed that after 15 boxes of raw records and documents were returned from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives in January 2022, they were granted access to those records.

A search of the boxes by lawyers, the letter said, turned up briefings of phone calls with foreign leaders, likely interspersed with “newspapers, magazines, notes, letters, and daily schedules.” National Archives staff replaced potentially classified records with placeholder entries describing their contents. The specific contents of the 15 boxes, including possible notes from calls with foreign leaders, were not reported before the letter was sent to Congress.

Trump’s former attorney also commented on reports, confirmed by CBS News, that prosecutors obtained a recording in which the former president said he had a sensitive document from the Pentagon related to plans to attack Iran.

“I’ve never seen that document,” Parlatore said, “but I’ll tell you.” All documents basically fall into three categories: those returned to the National Archives before the investigation began; and those seized by the FBI. during the raid; And the ones that were returned that our team sent to the Department of Justice as part of the various searches.”

“So, if this document existed, it would be in one of those three piles,” he said, describing the process by which Trump’s legal team collected the records. “We had to take any marked document and return it immediately. And so when he saw those marks, you didn’t read them.”

Since Trump left the White House, his attorneys have engaged in a debate with the National Archives over missing White House records from federal government possession. After the archive discovered that classified documents had been brought to Mar-a-Lago, the matter was referred to federal prosecutors, who issued subpoenas for more records, some of which were turned over by Trump’s legal team in June 2022.

It wasn’t until the FBI executed a federal search warrant in August at Mar-a-Lago that investigators said they discovered more than 100 classified documents in Trump’s possession.

Speaking with CBS News, Parlatore reiterated the allegations in his letter to Congress, blaming the document’s transfer on the behavior of regular government and federal employees who scanned documents into boxes and transported them to Mar-a-Lago.

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