Former Trump Employee Asserts Classified Documents Case Is Not a Witch Hunt

An employee from the Mar-a-Lago club, who is involved in the classified documents case concerning former President Trump, stated on Monday that the situation should not be dismissed as a “witch hunt.” This response serves as a rebuttal to the political criticism and attacks from Trump and his supporters.

In an interview with CNN on Monday, Brian Butler, also referred to as “Trump Employee 5” in court records, firmly denied Trump’s claims that the charges of criminal obstruction against him were driven by political motivations. He openly discussed his involvement in inadvertently assisting in the transportation of boxes containing classified documents.

In his account, he detailed the impact the criminal case against Trump had on him, and how it ultimately strained his relationship with defendant Carlos de Oliveira, whom he considered a close friend.

“I found myself in a difficult position where there seemed to be no right answer. They were questioning me about my close friend, and I felt compelled to be truthful. However, deep down, I couldn’t shake the unease that my words might inadvertently cause him trouble,” Butler shared with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable for anyone to experience such a situation,” he expressed. “And to hear [Trump] repeatedly dismissing it as a witch hunt and refusing to take responsibility for anything… it’s just disheartening.”

In June 2022, Butler recounted an unusual request from Trump co-defendant Walt Nauta. Nauta had asked for Butler’s assistance in moving boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago onto a private jet that was ready for departure.

“I had no clue,” he admitted, referring to the 10-15 boxes he helped Nauta and de Oliveira relocate, unaware of the classified information they held. Interestingly, this occurred on the very day when federal investigators were in discussion with Trump’s lawyers, seeking access to these documents.”

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Butler has become a crucial witness for special counsel Jack Smith. Unlike Nauta and de Oliveira, he declined to use an attorney provided by the Trump legal team. Butler revealed to CNN that he was the source who alerted prosecutors about the reported disclosure of classified information to Australian billionaire Anthony Pratt in 2021.

Trump’s lawyers have been consistently trying to dismiss and postpone the case involving classified documents. The charges against Trump include 40 felony counts, such as mishandling classified information and obstructing justice.

Smith filed a motion last week, opposing Trump’s arguments and asserting that the former president is not immune to prosecution.

Prosecutors have highlighted a clear distinction between the current case and the previous investigation against former President Biden regarding classified documents. They argue that President Trump actively engaged in multiple and persistent attempts to obstruct justice and impede the retrieval of documents with classification markings.

Smith has suggested scheduling the trial for early July.

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