Walt Nauta, a former aide to Donald Trump, is scheduled to enter a plea on Thursday in a Miami federal court. Nauta stands accused of assisting the former U.S. president in concealing top secret documents that Trump took with him upon leaving the White House in 2021.
Trump Aide Walt Nauta
During his initial appearance on June 13, Nauta appeared alongside the ex-president but was not arraigned due to the unavailability of a lawyer licensed to practice in Florida. The arraignment was subsequently postponed a second time in late June for the same reason.\
Meanwhile, Trump, who is currently the leading contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal counts. These charges allege that he unlawfully retained national security documents and obstructed justice.
As a former White House valet turned presidential aide, Nauta is facing six counts related to his alleged involvement in obstructing justice, making false statements, and withholding and concealing documents.
According to prosecutors, Nauta is accused of hiding boxes of documents from the ex-president’s legal team as they searched for classified materials requested by the U.S. Justice Department. Furthermore, he is alleged to have provided false information to investigators during a voluntary interview.
Prosecutors have requested a trial delay until December 11, and U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who initially set the trial date for August 14, is expected to consider the request.
If the trial proceeds, Trump will become the first former or current U.S. president to face criminal charges in both federal and state courts.
Apart from the documents case, Trump also faces charges in New York for allegedly falsifying business records to conceal payments made to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign. In that case as well, Trump has pleaded not guilty.
Trump maintains his innocence and asserts that the investigations are part of a political conspiracy against him.
Judge Cannon has scheduled a hearing on July 14 to address how classified information will be handled in the case. Legal experts anticipate that the complexities surrounding the use of highly classified documents as evidence will likely result in delays for his trial.