Witness in Trump Classified Documents Case Says It Isn’t ‘Witch Hunt’


A former Mar-a-Lago employee who is cooperating with federal investigators in Donald Trump’s classified documents case says the charges against the former president don’t constitute a “witch hunt.”

Brian Butler, who until now has been known only as “Trump Employee 5” in the federal indictment special counsel Jack Smith brought against Trump last year, went public in a CNN interview this week, sharing new details about the alleged documents cover-up.

Butler told the outlet that he unwittingly helped Trump staffers move 10-15 boxes of sensitive records in June 2022. He has spoken with federal investigators several times since then and his testimony played a central role in the indictment against Trump unveiled last year.

“I think the American people have the right to know the facts, that this is not a witch hunt,” Butler said.

Trump is charged with dozens of felony counts related to allegations that he mishandled national defense information and purposefully withheld classified documents from the government. Walt Nauta, a close Trump aide, faces six counts in the case, including obstruction and concealment, while Carlos de Oliveira, the property manager at Mar-a-Lago, is charged with four counts.

All three men have pleaded not guilty. Trump has characterized the case — as well as his myriad other legal troubles — as a politically-motivated witch hunt, and has made several ongoing efforts to have the case tossed.

In a Monday interview, Butler said part of his reasoning for going public with his identity was to share the truth with American voters ahead of the November election.

“I personally would just say I just don’t believe that he should be a presidential candidate at this time. I think it’s time to move on,” he said.

Butler’s decision to go public — which could complicate Smith’s case — is a rare move by a cooperating witness. A trial date has still not been set in the case.

“This is so much bigger than me,” Butler told CNN. “You know, this is a nation that needs to decide who’s gonna be the next president.”

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.



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