Trump Aide Pleads Not Guilty Over Document Scandal

Trump Aide Pleads Not Guilty Over Document Scandal

( – An aide to former president Donald Trump was arraigned in Florida last week for his part in allegedly hiding classified documents. Walt Nauta, a US Navy veteran who worked for Trump in the White House and later at his Mar-A-Lago home, faces six federal charges. He’s denying them all.

Waltine “Walt” Nauta is a former petty officer cook in the US Navy. In 2012 he was assigned to the White House as part of the Navy-run White House Mess staff. During the Trump administration, he became personal valet to the president. After Trump left office, Nauta joined his team at Mar-A-Lago; he left the Navy in September 2021 and is now on the payrolls of Trump’s Save America PAC and his 2024 presidential election campaign.

When the FBI started investigating Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents last year, Nauta was called as a witness. However, by last fall, he had become a suspect. On June 8, 2023, he was indicted along with the former president on various charges related to the documents and alleged attempts to conceal them. Nauta has been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and withholding and concealing documents. Prosecutors say when Trump’s lawyers searched Mar-A-Lago for documents removed from the White House, Nauta hid boxes of paperwork from them; he also allegedly lied during an interview with investigators.

Although Nauta was indicted along with Trump, his arraignment was delayed twice. It finally happened on July 6 at the federal courthouse in Miami. Nauta himself didn’t say anything during the hearing, but his lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. US District Judge Aileen Cannon has set August 14 as the initial trial date, but prosecutors want to delay it until December. Meanwhile, Trump’s trial is due to begin July 14 but is likely to be delayed too, while legal experts argue about the details of the case.

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