Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty to charges related to the former president’s handling of classified material after leaving the White House
Walt Nauta, the personal aide to Donald Trump who was indicted along with the former president last month, was caught on tape moving boxes just days before the Justice Department visited Mar-a-Lago in June 2022. The revelation comes as portions of the FBI’s request for a search warrant have been unredacted, according to The Wall Street Journal. Surveillance footage of Nauta moving the material was part of the affadavit.
Nauta appeared in court on Thursday, pleading not guilty to all charges related to the documents. Trump pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Miami last month. Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump appointee who is overseeing the case, last month set a preliminary trial date of Aug. 14, but this is widely expected to be delayed.
The charges against Trump and Nauta largely center around their alleged efforts to mislead authorities about the classified material the former president hoarded at Mar-a-Lago. The surveillance footage described in the unredacted affidavit shows Nauta moving 64 boxes out of a storage area for Trump to have a look at and later only around 30 of them. Trump has previously instructed all of the boxes to be moved into the storage area, the door of which “was painted gold and had no other markings on it,” according to the affidavit.
Justice Department officials visited Mar-a-Lago days after Nauta moved the boxes. Trump lawyers Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb showed the officials the storage area, and turned over classified material that hadn’t been previously recovered. Bobb signed a letter, crafted by Corcoran, attesting that no more classified material remained at Mar-a-Lago. The FBI recovered hundreds of additional documents when it raided the compound two months later.
Trump has maintained that he believes the classified documents are his to keep, and the indictment alleges he suggested his attorneys hide them so the Justice Department couldn’t take them. “We, what happens if we just don’t respond at all or don’t play ball with them?” Trump allegedly said. “Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?”
Rolling Stone reported last month that Trump whined ahead of his indictment that he wanted “my boxes” and “my documents” returned, even asking an attorney if they could get them back from the Justice Department.
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/walt-nauta-pleads-not-guilty-moving-mar-a-lago-boxes-1234783730/