Donald Trump’s body-man Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty to new criminal charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, while the arraignment for his co-defendant Carlos De Oliveira has been postponed because he still doesn’t have a Florida lawyer.
De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Florida resort, and Nauta appeared in federal court in Fort Pierce, Florida. They have been charged with multiple offenses related to Trump’s allegedly unlawful retention of documents after leaving office, including classified material.
Trump and Nauta were first indicted in this case in June. De Oliveira was added as a co-defendant in a superseding indictment last month, along with new charges against Trump and Nauta. The former president previously waived his appearance in court and his lawyers officially entered a not guilty plea.
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.
The charges Nauta and De Oliveira face include making false statements, conspiracy to obstruct justice and corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating, or concealing documents.
According to the superseding indictment, in the summer of 2022, Nauta – at Trump’s direction – helped to conceal documents from a grand jury subpoena by moving boxes, some of which contained classified information, out of a storage room which was later searched by a Trump attorney to comply with the subpoena.
De Oliveira, according to the indictment, helped Nauta move some but not all of the boxes back to the storage room prior to the search. The rest, however, were kept at Trump’s residence, away from his attorney’s search.
The indictment also alleges that Nauta and De Oliveira had asked an employee if they could delete security footage at Mar-a-Lago. The two men also made false statements to investigators regarding their involvement in moving Trump’s boxes, prosecutors allege.
In a separate development, Nauta has argued that he should be allowed to review the classified evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s documents case.
In a court filing late Wednesday, Nauta’s lawyers opposed prosecutors’ proposal that access to those materials be limited to his lawyers who have received security clearance. They argued that permitting their client to view materials himself did not pose the national security risk the government claims and that his ability to review the classified evidence is necessary for their preparation for his defense, with hints that they might challenge prosecutors’ assertions that the materials Trump is accused of mishandling were never declassified.
This story has been updated with additional information.