2 Trump aides back in court in classified documents case

August 10, 2023

Trump aides Carlos De Oliveira and Walt Nauta were back in federal court in Florida Thursday on charges related to the former President’s handling of classified documents.

The arraignment of De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida country club residence, Mar-a-Lago, was postponed yet again. His Thursday appearance before a magistrate judge, on charges that include conspiracy to obstruct justice, was his second attempt to face arraignment as he showed up in court July 31 without legal representation by a member in good standing of the Florida bar, or to be sponsored by one, as required by the federal court in Miami.

De Oliveira is now scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, August 15. His lawyer said in court that he hopes to have appropriate paperwork filed tomorrow.

Walt Nauta, who pleaded not guilty in early July to seven criminal counts related to the classified documents probe, also pleaded not guilty Thursday to additional charges in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s superseding indictment, which alleges that Nauta and De Oliveira schemed with Trump to conceal subpoenaed Mar-a-Lago video surveillance footage from authorities.

This past Friday, Trump pleaded not guilty to superseding charges of altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing an object; and corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing a document, record or other object; and an additional charge of willful retention of national defense information.

Trump’s superseding plea in the case was undertaken in a court filing as he had waived his right to a second arraignment in the case.

The new charges pile on top of the 37 criminal counts to which Trump pleaded not guilty on June 13, including 31 initial  counts for willful retention of national defense secrets in violation of the Espionage Act, as well as one count each of making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and a scheme to conceal. 

Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District in Southern Florida has set a May 20 trial date, following jury selection May 14, in the classified document’s case against Trump.

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