Recent reports indicate that an employee of former President Donald Trump was flipped by Special Counsel Jack Smith and will testify against his boss and others in the federal documents case.
According to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once a friendly ally turned bitter critic and rival to Trump, the former president is now "sick to his stomach" with worry over what that witness might say and whether others in his orbit will also be flipped by prosecutors, USA Today reported.
The documents case, in which Trump is alleged to have unlawfully retained government records after leaving the White House, is just one of four criminal indictments he faces, as both Special Counsel Smith and a Georgia prosecutor have charged him in relation to his post-2020 election activities and a New York prosecutor has charged him over alleged "hush money" payments during the 2016 election.
CNN reported Wednesday that Yuscil Taveras, an IT worker at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort residence in Florida, has been confirmed by his former defense attorney as having agreed to be a cooperative witness for the special counsel in exchange for avoiding criminal charges of his own.
Taveras, who has been referred to as "Trump Employee 4" in several legal filings, was supposedly part of an alleged effort by Trump and others to erase surveillance camera footage at Mar-a-Lago that showed boxes of government documents being moved around to various locations on the property.
He reportedly previously testified before a federal grand jury in July and then later agreed to cooperate with the special counsel after ditching his Trump-affiliated defense attorney, Stanley Woodward, and accepting the representation of a government-assigned public defender.
It was a recent court filing from Woodward to address prosecutor assertions of a "conflict of interest" in regard to his prior representation of Taveras which seemingly confirmed that Taveras had been flipped against Trump by the special counsel.
Former Gov. Christie, who is running a longshot campaign to challenge former President Trump for the Republican nomination in 2024, addressed the news of Taveras being a cooperative witness for the special counsel during an interview this week with CNN host Dana Bash.
Asked how Trump might be feeling about the development, Christie said, "Well, two things will happen. One, this man will be vilified, attacked, and savaged by Donald Trump publicly."
"And then secondly, Donald Trump will lay in his bed at night staring up at the ceiling trying to remember every conversation he ever had with this guy while he’s sick to his stomach," he continued. "And this is going to repeat itself, Dana, over and over and over again over the course of the next number of months."
Christie went on to predict that some of Trump's co-defendants in the Georgia case, as well as in others, will eventually also be flipped by prosecutors and accept deals to testify against the former president, and added, "This is what the Republican Party is facing: drip, drip, drip on the guy who’s the frontrunner, which is why he cannot be the nominee."
"Donald Trump will lay in his bed at night staring up at the ceiling... while he's sick to his stomach." @GovChristie says after Mar-a-Lago IT worker strikes cooperation deal with special counsel. pic.twitter.com/owPRxB0g0p
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) September 7, 2023
To be sure, obvious sour grapes and political ambitions aside, Christie may well be telling the truth in this instance about Trump being worried about the possibility of others in his orbit being turned against him by partisan prosecutors seeking to derail his re-election campaign and imprison him for the rest of his life.
As of now, however, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Trump retains a commanding lead of more than 38 points in the GOP primary polls over his nearest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and has the support of around 53.6% of Republican voters.