Former Mar-a-Lago Employee Says Trump's Classified Docs Case 'Not A Witch Hunt'

Brian Butler has served as a key witness in special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's handling of classified files.

Brian Butler, a former Mar-a-Lago employee who is a key witness in the federal indictment over Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, told CNN Monday the investigation into the former president is “not a witch hunt.”

Butler is referenced as “Trump Employee 5” in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment. He told CNN he had “no clue” that he was potentially aiding the removal of classified documents when Trump’s valet Walt Nauta asked to borrow a car in June 2022 as the FBI was seeking the return of the files after Trump’s presidency.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Butler about the episode and why he was going public now with his account of the situation. The man has spoken to Smith’s team multiple times and given testimony to federal investigators.

“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,” Butler, who worked at Mar-a-Lago for more than 20 years, said. “I think the American people have the right to know the facts, that this is not a witch hunt.”

He went on to say that he was frustrated with Trump’s ability to get “up there all the time and say the things he says about ... this being a witch hunt and everything.

“He just can’t take responsibility for anything,” Butler added.

Trump was indicted last June over the case and faces dozens of charges which include willful retention of documents, making false statements and obstruction of justice. Nauta and another Trump aide, Carlos De Oliveira, are also named as co-defendants in the indictment.

All three men have pleaded not guilty and Trump has regularly attacked those prosecuting the case, as well as the three other indictments he faces. The former president’s attorneys have called for the case to be dismissed, saying Trump is entitled to immunity from prosecution.

Butler added Monday that he was pressured to get an attorney aligned with the former president, but he has used his own lawyers throughout the case.

“I think it’s better to look after yourself and take care of it yourself,” he said. “You know, even the voicemail by the attorney that called me, you know, he says, “I’m representing former President Trump.’ Well, that does me no good. You’re representing him, not me. I mean, I wouldn’t even consider that.”

Popular in the Community


What's Hot