Trump aide Walt Nauta to be arraigned in classified documents case

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Walt Nauta, an aide charged alongside former President Donald Trump for the alleged mishandling of classified documents from the White House, is expected to plead not guilty to several charges in a Miami federal court Tuesday morning.

Nauta faces six counts, including several obstruction and concealment-related charges stemming from the alleged conduct.

Though he made his initial court appearance alongside Trump earlier this month, Nauta has not yet entered a formal plea because he did not have a local attorney at the time of the hearing.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 37 criminal charges for his alleged retention of classified documents and conspiracy to hide those documents from the government and his own attorneys.

Chief Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres will preside over Tuesday’s hearing, according to court records. The criminal case has been assigned to play out in full before federal Judge Aileen Cannon.

According to prosecutors, Nauta helped move boxes from a Mar-a-Lago storage room to Trump’s residence at the former President’s direction. Trump wanted to review the contents of the boxes before turning 15 of them over to the National Archives in 2022, prosecutors say.

However, prosecutors alleged that Nauta lied about the incident during a May 2022 interview with the FBI, saying that he was not aware of boxes being moved to Trump’s residence.

“When asked whether he knew where Trump’s boxes had been stored, before they were in Trump’s residence and whether they had been in a secure or locked location, Nauta falsely responded, ‘I wish, I wish I could tell you. I don’t know. I don’t – I honestly just don’t know,’” the indictment says.

It continues: “Nauta did in fact know that the boxes in Pine Hall had come from the Storage Room, as Nauta himself, with the assistance of Trump Employee 2, had moved the boxes from the Storage Room to Pine Hall; and Nauta had observed the boxes in and moved them to various locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club.”

Investigators later obtained video surveillance footage of Nauta and another Trump aide moving boxes with classified documents around the property. Once the surveillance footage was turned over, Nauta changed his story, CNN previously reported, and, after changing attorneys, the aide stopped talking to investigators all together last fall.

Earlier this month, magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman, who presided over the initial court appearance, ordered Trump and Nauta not to discuss the facts of the case with one another.

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