Fmr Mar-a-Lago Employee Brian Butler: After Moving Boxes I Realized 'Something Is Going on'

Former Mar-a-Lago employee Brian Butler said Monday on CNN’s “The Lead” that he realized “something is going on” when he saw the boxes in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of former President Donald Trump were the boxes he remembered loading onto a plane.

KAITLAN COLLINS: Brian Butler told us about how he was on this day in June 2022, not knowing what exactly he was doing, but he was asked to help load boxes, banker boxes, on to Trump’s plane at an airport in Palm Beach, Florida as the former president was set to go to New Jersey. Now what he did not realize was that at the time this was happening Trump’s team, his legal team was meeting with members of the FBI at Mar-a-Lago after they had just performed a search of that storage room looking for classified documents. We now know based on the indictment, of course, that when Evan Corcoran Trump’s attorney, who was looking through those documents, Walt Nauta and others had moved many boxes out of that room. Now, Brian Butler, who is known and reference six times as Trump employee # 5 in the superseding indictment was asked to help Walt Nauta, who is Trump’s body man, turned co-defendant, load those documents onto the plane. Here’s what he told us about that moment.

BUTLER: And then what happened is Walt left before me and he never goes directly to the plane, he’s either in the motorcade when he goes there with the boss, which is the former president. And I remember telling him he left the club with, I didn’t know what he had in his vehicle, but he waited for me at a nearby business. And I told him I would tell him when I was leaving Mar-a-Lago. So I left Mar-a-Lago. I texted him, ‘Hey, I’m on my way.’ He followed me. He pulled out and got behind me. We got to the airport. I ended up loading all the luggage I had and he had a bunch of boxes.

COLLINS: You noticed that he had boxes.

BUTLER: They were boxes that were in the indictment, the white bankers boxes. That’s what I remember loading.

COLLINS: And did you have any time, any idea at the time, that there was potentially U.S. national security secrets in those boxes?

BUTLER: No clue. Nope, I had no clue. I mean, we were just taking them out of the Escalade and piling them up. I remember they were all stacked on top of each other and then we’re lifting them up to the pilots.

COLLINS: How many boxes was it?

BUTLER: They asked me in the interview, and I believe it was 10 to 15, is what I remember.

COLLINS: ‘They’ being the investigators?

BUTLER: Correct.

COLLINS: And when you look back on that, now, what —

BUTLER: Well, I had no clue until probably the end of June. There’s a few different things that happened that kind of opened my eyes to you know, something is going on here.

COLLINS: So, you get that unusual request. Did you ever think to yourself, why were there so many boxes at Mar-a-Lago?

BUTLER: You know, I, for me, I’m just thinking, ‘Oh, the former president, he has a lot of stuff he likes to lug around with him.’ I never would’ve thought it was anything like what we see —

COLLINS: Classified documents.



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