The Dog Drained My Pool to Try to Destroy Surveillance Video

CNN has a hilarious story about how Trump’s head of maintenance, whom NYT identified as Carlos Deoliveira, drained the pool at Mar-a-Lago in October and in the process flooded the room where surveillance footage is kept.

An employee at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence drained the resort’s swimming pool last October and ended up flooding a room where computer servers containing surveillance video logs were kept, sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

[snip]

Prosecutors have heard testimony that the IT equipment in the room was not damaged in the flood, according to one source.

In addition to an interview, DOJ has seized his phone.

The maintenance worker more recently spoke to investigators in an interview, and his phone has been seized, some of the sources now tell CNN.

The initial story about Deoliveira, a story led by Devlin Barrett and Josh Dawsey, featured on-the-record comments from his Trump-paid lawyer and describes that he just offered to help without knowing what Nauta was moving.

John Irving, a lawyer representing one of the two employees who moved the boxes, said the worker did not know what was in them and was only trying to help Trump valet Walt Nauta, who was using a dolly or hand truck to move a number of boxes.

“He was seen on Mar-a-Lago security video helping Walt Nauta move boxes into a storage area on June 2, 2022. My client saw Mr. Nauta moving the boxes and volunteered to help him,” Irving said. The next day, he added, the employee helped Nauta pack an SUV “when former president Trump left for Bedminster for the summer.”

At first, NYT simply matched that story, with the same exculpatory explanation for Deoliveira’s involvement. But their follow-up includes details that explain why the flooded server room would be so suspect: Deoliveira reportedly called the IT consultant who manages surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago after DOJ sent a subpoena for the surveillance footage.

Two weeks ago, the latest of these employees, an information technology worker named Yuscil Taveras, appeared before a grand jury in Washington, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Taveras was asked questions about his dealings with two other Trump employees: Walt Nauta, a longtime aide to Mr. Trump who served as one of his valets in the White House, and Carlos Deoliveira, described by one person familiar with the events as the head of maintenance at Mar-a-Lago.

Phone records show that Mr. Deoliveira called Mr. Taveras last summer, and prosecutors wanted to know why. The call caught the government’s attention because it was placed shortly after prosecutors issued a subpoena to Mr. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, demanding the footage from the surveillance camera near the storage room.

The call also occurred just weeks after Mr. Deoliveira helped Mr. Nauta move boxes of documents into the storage room — the same room that Mr. Deoliveira at one point fitted with a lock.

[snip]

They asked Mr. Taveras an open-ended question about if anyone had queried him about whether footage from the surveillance system could be deleted.

The NYT follow-up describes that all three of these men — the valet, the maintenance guy, and the IT consultant — are being represented by Trump paid lawyers. The latter two are long-term Trump employees. So there’s a temptation to imagine that if there are cahoots to be had, they’re all in it together.

But if surveillance footage got altered via one means to hide stuff that happened before June 3, one would assume that same means would be available after June 3. So if the attempt to flood the server room were an attempt to destroy surveillance footage, it may be an attempt to hide something else.

That’s one of a number of potential explanations for the reports of a Florida grand jury: that there’s a separate suspected crime the venue of which is entirely there.

Alternately, DOJ could have decided that to charge Espionage Act crimes, it is best to do it in Florida — as I laid out here.

But there’s another question that may be just as important as the evidence to support the charges, and may elicit quite a debate within DOJ: venue. The easiest way to overcome all the difficulties with charging a former President with 793 would be to charge his retention of documents after the time when:

  1. The Archives had explained that retaining them was unlawful under the Presidential Records Act
  2. Both the Archives and DOJ had asked for them back
  3. Jay Bratt had informed him (through Evan Corcoran) that they were being stored improperly

That is, if he were to charge 793, Smith would likely charge for actions trump took between May and August of last year, at Mar-a-Lago. So (while some smart lawyers disagree) there would be at least a fair argument that it would have to be charged in SDFL.

Ideally any charges against a former President would be strong enough to convince a South Florida jury, but the possibility of Aileen Cannon presiding over such a trial would be daunting. Plus, judges in DC have far more experience dealing with cases involving classified information than most other districts other than EDVA.

Though that wouldn’t necessarily take new witnesses in Florida. It could require no more than an FBI agent to present the evidence obtained in DC.

Hopefully, we’ll learn soon enough.

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121 replies
  1. David F. Snyder says:

    Hopefully.

    Chuck Coleman had an interesting take that yesterday’s meeting with DOJ by Trusty er al. was set up as a first date between the Trump and Smith teams. https://twitter.com/CFColemanJr

    Though, it could have been just Smith, as supervisor, listening to their complaint about Jay Bratt.

  2. Leu2500 says:

    It’s also suspicious because Trump has done this before. I read an article (sorry, don’t remember who by) that Trump avoided tax investigations in the pre-email & electronic days by a variety of “dog ate my homework” incidences that included records destroyed by water damage/flooding.

  3. joel fisher says:

    I wish someone would clue the clueless–me–on why search warrants aren’t executed as opposed to “requests”–and the ensuing interminable negotiations–for documents and videos. Last August the FBI “executed a search at MAL, why not again and everywhere tfg has been?

    • Scott_in_MI says:

      I presume that the FBI doesn’t have sufficient evidence to meet the probable cause standard for a search warrant at any of Trump’s other properties.

      • JVOJVOJVO says:

        Or they did have enough evidence, they have executed, and we just haven’t heard about it. Unlikely, I know, but still possible, no?

        • joel fisher says:

          FBI raid on tfg and no noise? I don’t think so. And I think there’s PC to search all his hidey-holes given the 3 card monte he’s doing with the goods.

        • EuroTark says:

          Don’t forget that the Mar-a-Lago raid went public because a local news reporter caught it. Trumpworld is trying to spin it afterwards that they wanted the publicity though.

    • GMF_04MAY2023_1536h says:

      I’m not a lawyer but my understanding is that warrants are predicated on knowledge, and sworn affidavits, that a specific thing is in a specific place. Prosecutors can’t simply say to a judge “I think something might be somewhere and I want to look to check” and expect to get a warrant.

      Also requesting materials before obtaining and executing a search warrant is considered a good faith act that can help avoid the perception of investigative overreach.

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      • bmaz says:

        “Also requesting materials before obtaining and executing a search warrant is considered a good faith act that can help avoid the perception of investigative overreach.”

        Ah, no. Warrants are issued and served every minute of every day without talking to or tipping off suspects.

        • BasicPhysiology says:

          I was more speaking about high profile cases and this case in particular where they did in fact request the materials before issuing a subpoena, but it is helpful to know that such requests are not the routine approach. I appreciate the correction.

        • BasicPhysiology says:

          Oops. I meant warrant, not subpoena. It must be time for my afternoon coffee.

  4. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    Last night Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Neil Katyal on MSNBC. Without solicitation, Katyal offered his opinion on venue:

    “[These acts of obstruction] all occurred in Florida. But that doesn’t make the venue for the criminal charge reside only in Florida. The overall criminal case is based on one kind of central set of facts, his mishandling of classified information, and then lying about it, and obstructing the investigation afterward. That took place both in D.C. and in Florida. Prosecutors will have their pick of where to indict this entire ball of wax.”

    Katyal also said: “I suspect [venue] will be in Washington, D.C. There was an argument up until a couple of weeks ago that maybe Florida was the relevant place, but then, you had Donald Trump doing what he always does, putting his foot in his mouth on national TV in the CNN town hall. He says I made these decisions in Washington, D.C. Prosecutors must have been smiling when he said that and said, yes, that’s when you make that decision. That’s where the case is gonna be indicted.”

    Emptywheel, please, explain in more detail what Katyal’s logic is and whether he is correct.

    • Tech Support says:

      FWIW, there’s been a running argument about venue in the comments almost immediately after the warrant was executed. While everyone agrees that DC is preferable for DOJ, the question of whether they can justify doing it there has been more contentious. So in that respect, Katyal’s observation about the CNN Town Hall is credible. To the extent that filing in DC might be controversial, anything Trump does to bolster the DOJ’s argument to charge there is helpful.

      • Peterr says:

        It’s not as if there is only one crime here, and I think it is likely that there will be charges in both DC and FL.

        The theft of documents took place in DC. They were supposed to have been taken from the White House to the National Archives, and that didn’t happen.

        The obstruction of efforts to retrieve the documents has elements that took place in both DC and FL. Workers at Mar-a-Lago who might be implicated in hiding the documents from DOJ took actions in FL, not DC. Folks who helped get the docs from the WH to FL would be on the hook in DC. Lawyers who shaded the truth about the search might be in trouble in both DC and FL.

        As a non-lawyer, I am not sure how potential conspiracy charges would combine these crimes in such a way as to necessitate a single venue for all defendants.

  5. Tom R. says:

    The venue issue scares me. There is a case before the Supreme Court right now. There are arguments for and against allowing a retrial after a trial in the wrong venue.

    There are risks in either jurisdiction, so you have to decide which set of risks is more manageable.

    As for Cannon in particular: I suspect there are strategems that Jack Smith could use to guarantee that Florida cases don’t wind up in her courtroom.

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    • Ebenezer Scrooge says:

      Maybe the DoJ is waiting for the results of US v. Smith, the case you mentioned. Smith (the defendant) is arguing that a wrong venue is jeopardy, and the government cannot retry a defendant first tried in the wrong venue. If the defendant loses, DoJ can take a small venue risk, and go to DC. If he wins, venue risk is enormous. The Supreme Court will resolve the venue case in a few weeks–maybe on Thursday.

      • bmaz says:

        US v. Smith is a ludicrous argument. You indict where the locus/nexus is. DC is fine. Even the current SCOTUS did not appear to be buying the argument there which concerned the potential for retrial. US v. Smith is not a problem.

  6. John Paul Jones says:

    What if the three servants were separately indicted on a mishandling classified documents charge (or something) as a way of leveraging testimony against Trump?

    • bidrec says:

      Clearances are compartmentalized. I have destroyed classified material (in the form of paper tape from a Teletype reperferator). The reason was because I had burn duty that day.

      I actually did have training on handling classified documents. It was three weeks in an air-conditioned hangar in Florida’s panhandle. I doubt these gentlemen had that opportunity. Their clearance and training would be more akin to that given to the White House honor guard, don’t repeat what you hear. Also, don’t smile on when duty.

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  7. PeteT0323 says:

    ” — the valet, the maintenance guy, and the IT consultant —” go into a bar at Mar-a-Lago.

    Finish it….

      • giorgino says:

        This is the 2nd time a youtube.com purported link from this site has sent me to youtu.be, which is a different site; Commercial junk. I’m not sure why that is happening, but it sure is confusing and disconcerting. Rayne?

        • Rayne says:

          Youtu . be is Youtube’s shortened URL. If you’re getting commercial junk on arrival at the link it may be an advertisement parked on top of the intended video which should play after the ad.

        • giorgino says:

          Thank you both, sorry to trouble you with this. There must be some collision with URL addresses, I get different results when I try. Sometimes just a commercial only piece, sometimes an ad, and then what was originally intended. But always different. Never-the-less… Mia culpa

        • Rayne says:

          If you haven’t run antivirus/anti-malware apps recently, especially anti-hijack software, you should do so.

        • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

          .be is Belgium. Guessing YouTube took the url to be kind of cute. Many vids available on YT used to have a .be url. Haven’t noticed any lately and when I just tried to go to youtu.be it redirected to regular old youtube.com. In any case there shouldn’t be anything dangerous there, unless you are afraid of abbey ales.

        • EuroTark says:

          If you have a suspicious link you want to test before using, you could use a service like urlscan.io to open and scan it for you.

    • giorgino says:

      The bar-tender asks, what will it be guys?

      Valet says, something with a purple hue, it’s what my guy likes, regal, you know.

      Maintenance-guy says, a stiff one please, I’ve got some deep plunging to do.

      IT guy, I’ll have a white Russian, just don’t bring me a pic of TFG.

  8. Amicus12 says:

    After laughing for about a full minute, I was able to get past the headline and read the substance of the article. The “V” word again.

    You present to a grand jury where you intend to bring the charge(s). I’ve said plenty enough on this subject but thanks for the news about the Florida grand jury.

  9. RickW_02MAR2021_1719h says:

    The Trump defense will be a combination of Caddyshack and Beverly Hills Cop II explaining that a “clark bar” type object was in the pool necessitating the draining of the pool.

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  10. Cravenwood says:

    This is clearly a misunderstanding.

    What really happened is that Eric and Junior were eating a Baby Ruth poolside and refused to share it with Ivanka. Acting out of spite and jealousy, Ivanka snatched the delicious treat and tossed it into the swimming hole. Then, Kim Guilfoyle (who had been snorkeling in the pool) surfaced right near the floating sweet and immediately screamed ‘DOODY’. This caused Melania to look up from her phone and hastily demand that all swimmers exit the waters immediately.

    Hoping to avoid even more trouble with the health inspectors at Mar-a-lago, Melania ordered Carlos to drain and sanitize the pool. However, Carlos had seen those rascally Trump boys with a candy bar earlier in the day. Despite Carlos’ best interrogation efforts, they wouldn’t tell him what actually happened. So, Carlos reached out to the IT guys to see if anyone had eyes on the pool at the moment of truth. Unfortunately, the cameras were off that day for some reason (they are off a lot, like police body cams).

    From there, the story writes itself. It’s become a trash palace thanks to a shitty owner. Obviously, there will be water leaks from the pool. Many people are also saying the golf course has a gopher problem. The best way to take care of that is with plastic explosives. Problem is, those explosions tend to crack concrete structures in the area…

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  11. BriceFNC says:

    And the White House Secretary was off on January 6 so we do not have phone logs. And, after being ordered to preserve texts the Secret Service changed phone systems and evidence was lost!

    And why did Trump need to flush fifteen times?

    Sheer coincidence 3X!

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  12. harpie says:

    Teri Kanefield:
    https://law-and-politics.online/@Teri_Kanefield/110494976084081097
    Jun 05, 2023, 22:45

    Someone just asked me
    whether I thought Florida or D.C. would have jurisdiction.

    My guess: The feds will indict Trump in D.C.

    Any accomplices who were never in D.C. when the docs were taken
    will be indicted in Florida.

    One of the first procedural motions from the defense
    will be a motion to move the case from D.C.

    I don’t think they will succeed, but they will try.

    The case for staying in D.C. is strong.
    Plus the D.C. courts are more versed in these particular statutes.

    • bmaz says:

      As to “other” indictments being in FL, that is bullshit. If it is a conspiracy, they are indictable in DC too. The “case” for consolidation in DC is not just strong, it is overwhelming.

  13. Unabogie says:

    So his best defense is that the security around a former president can be thwarted by Jerry Falwell’s pool boy?

  14. vigetnovus says:

    Something will likely be charged in SDFL. Might not be 793, could be obstruction, or conspiracy to obstruct (or both). Could there have been paper records in the server room that could have been relevant to the investigation and might have been destroyed in the flood?

    Another possibility is that the server room isn’t the ONLY room that flooded. There could be another location (that Jack Smith knows about but doesn’t want Trump’s people to know he knows) where perhaps other classified documents could have been?

    This reads to me like Smith is trying to get the guy helping Nauta (and/or the IT guy) to flip and is pursuing 1001, perjury, and/or possibly conspiracy to obstruct charges which wouldn’t require that the obstructive act be successful. Problem is the lawyers for both are paid by Trump, so presumably they are coordinating their stories.

      • timbozone says:

        Smith is hopefully not complicating the issue of venue for no apparent good reason. I say this as it appears that Cannon complicated things for no good reason. And Garland apparently was fine with letting that play out…even though the PRA is absolutely clear where such things are to be argued. Now we have Smith allegedly also romping in Florida Grand Jury waters without much explanation…

    • Tech Support says:

      Quick clarification here. The concern is not that the server room contained devices storing classified data. It’s a question of what happened to the surveillance footage that Trump has failed to turn over to DOJ.

  15. Chuffles says:

    I hope all of the waiting is worth it. Considering the damage this man has done and continues to do, it’s really stunning how long it’s taking to put him in irons. The combination of his alleged wealth and his political station have really spared him. No way any of us peons would be walking around free right now.

    • Tim Benson says:

      Yep. I hate to arrogantly claim to be HIPPER to the GAME than everyone else, but Trump is NEVER going to be federally indicted. SORRY. The DOJ will continue to appease us by letting us know that they are endlessly “probing and investigating” Trump’s multiple crimes. A year, or so, from now they will issue two reports on the documents case and J6. The reports will detail his demonstrable, voluminous crimes, and how he lied OVER AND OVER AGAIN and obstructed justice. The DOJ will imply that they simply ran out of time. The reports will both end with: “Our investigation could not exonerate him.” And that will be that.

  16. P J Evans says:

    Who puts the server room downhill from the pool, and wouldn’t the pool have been drained (partially, at least) more than once after the servers went into that room?

    • bmaz says:

      I recently drained and refilled our pool for the first time in over a decade. So, properly maintained, the MaL pool may not have been drained anytime in recent years.

    • boatgeek says:

      More importantly, who designs the pool drainage system so that it goes into the building and not into a sewer drain? If it was backflow through a floor drain in the server room, the rest of the basement must have been flooding as well. That’s on top of the question of why you’d have a floor drain in your server room. It’s not like you need to hose that room down. Maybe I don’t want to think about that last one too much.

      • Rayne says:

        There would have been previous episodes of flooding as well if there was backflow through a floor drain since hurricanes and other strong storm systems would surely have pushed water into all drains unless designed otherwise.

      • Cravenwood says:

        FWIW I have a salt water pool and I need to drain it into the household plumbing system up here in Canada. Salt water is bad for freshwater sewer systems and some municipalities are starting to enforce this with hefty fines. For me, that means running a garden hose through a window and into the laundry sink in the basement.

        • Fran of the North says:

          Excuse my ignorance, but doesn’t your laundry sink connect to the freshwater sewer system?

    • Rayne says:

      It’s not downhill — it’s on the same elevation with the pool deck. See NYT’s graphic published last December – it’s an exploded view so the upper level of the building is floating above the first level.

      ADDER: I believe the pool equipment like the pump is in the space under the round upper level deck overlooking the pool. Sure makes it difficult to imagine how this happened unless a hose ran through that area under the deck to the interior rooms.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Everybody in Florida who manages a business that services some of the state’s wealthiest residents at play uses their pool guy to manage their IT services guy. Just natural.

        I imagine the FBI has interviewed most of the pool maintainers who have drained MAL’s pool over the past twenty or thirty years to see how they’ve done it. Just for comparison purposes.

      • Tech Support says:

        Since the reporting is that DOJ has testimony that the IT gear was not actually damaged in the flood, it will be interesting to see how much effort they put into fabricating some silly, physics-defying explanation for their story.

        • obsessed says:

          If they intended to destroy evidence, they failed. I’m curious as to whether it was obvious that the data was not destroyed (e.g., the water level never reached the hard drives) or if they thought they’d succeeded and the data was later recovered from wet hard drives by the forensic guys. It seems like the FBI experts would be able to carefully open the drive (in a clean room), remove the discs containing the data, and install them into a working enclosure.

        • BasicPhysiology says:

          We don’t know that they failed. Water damage in the server room could just have been used as a pretence to justify disposing of all of the server’s hard drives and replacing them with new ones.

          I wonder if they made an insurance claim.

      • P J Evans says:

        I couldn’t figure out how the “server room” could even be that close to the pool. They need cooling, for one thing, so putting them near an outside wall is just asking for trouble.

        • noromo says:

          Egads, P.J., I think you’ve hit the nail on the head! The servers are obviously water cooled, and the pool was doing double duty supplying water to the server room!

          That explains it. Move along, nothing to see here….

      • Eschscholzia says:

        It’s not downhill because this is Florida, and there is no downhill.
        The back lawn is about half a meter above sea level, on porous limestone and dirt. [In google maps, go to the US-98 bridge out to Mar-a-Lago, look at the seawall on the intracoastal side of the property maybe 1m above the water, then move & look at that wall from the land with perhaps half that height above the lawn]. The pool area and buildings are on perhaps 1-2m of fill, but that means the bottom of the pool & the floor of a basement would be at or below sea level.

        There is not a sewer line below the pool or the basement to drain into via gravity: sewers there require big pumps and sealed lines because they can’t use gravity, and are mostly below sea level. The basement is much more likely to have a sump pump than a floor drain. Emptying the pool likely involved a big pump sucking from the pool and dumping onto the lawn or the intracoastal waterway to the west.

        I still don’t understand how a pump & hose draining that pool to the rear could flood a basement of the adjacent building. I think that would still require the concrete around the pool be tilted away from instead of toward the pool, and several other unlikely things that should also be simple to test.

        • bmaz says:

          I don’t know about FL, but here, if you build to code, you literally cannot have a pool tilted to a residence. Not just as to draining, but even as to rainwater. It cannot drain to the residence. Period.

        • Eschscholzia says:

          As far as I know that’s code everywhere, but code isn’t particularly enforced in Florida. I was in exile there for 7 years.
          But my point was only that which way the slab slopes is an easily verifiable fact, requiring only a bucket of water and a camera.

    • xbronx says:

      I would love to see the (Rube) Goldbergian schematics – or variations – for draining a pool into a server room. Check Mr Nauta’s receipts for purchase of a long-beaked bird, a flyswatter, and a bowling ball.

      • eyesoars says:

        The purchase of multiple copies Rosemary Wood’s how-to instructional tape, “Multiplexing: Using yoga to destroy evidence while talking on the phone” gave away the plot.

        • xbronx says:

          My mother, an executive secretary for years, looked at the staged photo of Miss Woods and said, “What is she doing? Her chair has wheels!!!”

    • bidrec-gap says:

      In NYC there are server rooms under pools. And in new construction electricians working in computer rooms get the day off when the cafeteria on the floor above is flooded to test for leaks. If a leak is detected they get another day off.

      540 Madison Ave NYC had a pool in the penthouse which overflowed into the computer room below it, Ladenburg Thalmann. The pool was only 6′ by 10′ and four feet deep and reachable by a one person elevator. Damage was minimal.

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  17. Savage Librarian says:

    If the NYT story is accurate, two of the three men already connect the venue to DC: Yuscil Taveras, appeared before a grand jury in Washington; and Walt Nauta, a longtime aide to Mr. Trump, served as one of his valets in the White House.

    So, maybe the Florida grand jury is some kind of head fake. Sure, there may be FL grand juries for various FL cases. Maybe they might even have interviewed Carlos Deoliveira. Maybe they will indict him for something. Who knows.

    But I’m betting on a DC grand jury and venue for Trump and the conspiracy as a whole.

  18. Fly by Night says:

    What is most suspicious to me is the timing. Mar-a-Lago shuts down for the summer and re-opens around Labor Day (not sure of the exact dates). They had all summer to drain and inspect/repair the pool. Instead, they wait until the club is open to guests spending a few thousand bucks a day to use the place and THEN drain the pool? Sorry, not buying it.

    BMAZ, I’m guessing you aimed your hose at the street and not your computer room. Instead of firing the guy who did that, Trump hires a lawyer for him.

  19. Hahnizona says:

    I was thinking the same thing…draining the pool in October makes no sense. The pool would have been drained in the off season.

  20. Cosmo Lecat says:

    Andrew Weissmann: “If Walt Nauta lied to FBI investigators while physically in Florida that false statement charge can only be brought in FLA. Absent his waiving venue.”

    Bmaz question: If a conspiracy involving Nauta and/or others is charged, does that pull venue for obstruction to DC?

    • bmaz says:

      Am not positive TV Lawyer Weissmann is correct.

      I fully maintain that the original crime spree started in DC when Trump, and likely Nauta too, illegally took the materials and left for for Florida. It is all a conspiracy perpetrated against the US government centered in DC. Even Nauta’s false statement in FL was a continuation of that. The rule is contained in 18 USC §3237(a):

      §3237. Offenses begun in one district and completed in another
      (a) Except as otherwise expressly provided by enactment of Congress, any offense against the United States begun in one district and completed in another, or committed in more than one district, may be inquired of and prosecuted in any district in which such offense was begun, continued, or completed.

      At any rate, conspiracy to obstruct is a lot bigger and more important crime than mere false statements. Were I Smith, I would not file anything in FL. If any defendant wants to seek removal, let them try. We shall see if and what Smith does. It is above my pay grade, but have seen this happen in multi state drug conspiracies that started here.

      • David F. Snyder says:

        Makes sense, but is there (in general) a downside to a prosecutor losing a venue challenge?

      • Badger Robert says:

        Lets see what attorney Smith decides to do and how Ms. Wheeler assesses his decisions.

        • bmaz says:

          I make my own assessments. Do you deny the language of 18 USC §3237(a)? I have seen it applied in actual multi-state conspiracy cases. How do you think I know about it? No idea what Smith will do though.

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump is the stand-up comic who thinks he’s fabtastic, despite being booed off stage in favor of the cleaner. He seems as addicted to bad cover-ups: “It’s such a bad excuse, nobody would have done it that way, it must be fake.” “No one drains the pool in October: the guests are all there.” “Water doesn’t run up hill, unless you pump it there.” It’s a suitable idiot’s excuse for trashing the old servers and their contents. Wonder if they backed them up the night before, way off any normal schedule.

  22. Lorenz N Variance says:

    I just read the NY Times story about the Miami grand jury, and a thought occured: what if the Miami grand jury involves the actions of the judge, Aileen M. Cannon, who made the overturned ruling on masters earlier in this case? I have zero proof of this, and no supporting evidence, just pure conjecture from a non-lawyer. Has anyone else considered this? And would this be an appropriate reason to use a local grand jury rather than the D.C. grand jury?

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    • timbozone says:

      I would think that it would depend on what it is alleged to have happened by Smith’s investigators. And, yes, I’ve considered Cannon being something of a weak cypher when it comes to her involvement with the Trump gang down in Florida prior to and after she was appointed to the Federal bench by Trump.

      I ask again, are their pictures of her hobnobbing at Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House? If there are…

        • timbozone says:

          Or is it the people who do not see/won’t see/won’t admit that there is open corruption when it is happening in a Federal court who are off their rocker? In any case, I didn’t say the Grand Jury was investigating Cannon. My opinion is that it should be. Is your opinion that it should not be? And please answer my specific questions and statements above. Thanx.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Corruption there may be, but Cannon is not the worst offender among the federal judiciary, or the most senior. She is not a target of Smith’s investigation. She’s an irritating sideshow.

  23. JohnJJSchmidt says:

    Must be some terminology problems in the act. You really don’t drain a pool in florida, especially right near the coast. The pool will either crack and break up or a small one will just pop out of the ground because the water table is right there and the sealed tub floats out of the ground.

    I watched a small one pop out during a tropical storm when the neighbors drained it.

    It is water table related.

  24. Narpington says:

    Well I suppose the helpful maintenance guy *might* have asked the receptionist for the IT contact’s number then phoned to say, “Hey man, sorry for flooding your computers, hope I didn’t cause too much damage” and it appears ‘IT equipment in the room was not damaged’ but it’s always worth a detailed look if Trump is involved, because he’s (often) surprisingly ham-fisted for a guy with such small hands.

    “Hey, can I say what a great job you’re doing keeping this pool clean and how you drain it without flooding that room there. Gee, it’d be such a shame if next time you …”

    Still, a detail missing is whether the flooding happened after the request “to preserve additional footage in late October” or before, though given the repeated federal interest that’s not exonerative. Presumably the feds have determined the chronology, as they have any gaps in the tapes and their causes. Whether they were tampered with is another matter: are we talking Mike Lindell or FSB?

    Also:

    CNN: “Detailed notes Corcoran took from that time period about his efforts representing Trump also made no mention that he was aware of any boxes of documents being moved in or out of the storage room he was directed to search to comply with the DOJ’s demands, one source told CNN.”

    Who could that one source be?
    People don’t like being used as patsies. Smart, sensible people who deal with Trump take detailed notes. “Corcoran is not a target of the investigation”.

  25. WilliamOckham says:

    For many years, I had a server room and a pool at my home. I never flooded the server room while draining the pool. Not even when I was draining it during the worst of Hurricane Harvey here in Houston.

  26. Cosmo Lecat says:

    Bmaz, thanks for answering my question about venue. Another attorney stated that both the theft of documents and the obstruction began in DC. In regards to the latter, the attorney said the subpoena was issued in DC so the venue for its violation is DC (or, I might add, Florida at the discretion of the prosecutor, per 18 USC §3237(a), which I learned about thanks to you). Much appreciated.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; “Cosmo Le Cat” and “Cosmo Lecat” are two different names, the former of which you have used more often. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      It is prosecutorial discretion. All I can say is…I would not file anything outside of DC. Make the defendants try to remove. Granted, that may slow things down a bit from motions, but it will get slowed down by bullshit motions anyway. Do it right.

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