Washington (CNN) Former Donald Trump lawyer Timothy Parlatore, who left the former president’s legal team earlier this week, said Saturday that he left because of conflicts among the group.
“It had nothing to do with the case itself or the client,” Parlatore told CNN’s Paula Reid on “Newsroom.”
“The real reason is because there are certain people who made it much more difficult to defend the president than it needed to be. There is one person in particular who works for him, Boris Epshteyn, who had really done everything he could for to try to block us. — to prevent us from doing what we could to defend the president.”
In response, a Trump spokesman told CNN, “Mr. Parlatore is no longer a member of the legal team. His statements regarding current members of the legal team are unfounded and categorically false.”
Parlatore played a key role in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation and organized searches for additional classified documents last year at several Trump properties and a storage unit in Florida.
He also testified in December before a grand jury in the Mar-a-Lago case, when Trump’s team and the Justice Department were embroiled in a dispute in which the DOJ tried unsuccessfully to hold the former president in contempt for failing to hand over all classified documents after have received a summons in May 2022.
Parlatore said Saturday that Epshteyn “served as a sort of filter to prevent us from getting information to the client … In my opinion, he was not very honest with us or with the client about certain things.”
“There were certain things, such as the searches, that he had tried to interfere with, and then more recently, as we’re nearing the end of this investigation, where [special counsel] Jack Smith and ultimately Merrick Garland will make a decision on what to do – as we put together our defense strategy to help educate Merrick Garland on how best to handle this case, he prevented us from engaging in it strategy,” Parlatore said.
Epshteyn is a lawyer and adviser to Trump, who first joined his circle as a special assistant.
He continued to advise Trump during the 2020 campaign and has remained close to him since leaving office. Epshteyn has been involved in Trump’s legal response to the federal investigations into the former president, and he appeared at Trump’s New York court hearing last month despite not being one of the lawyers in the case.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.