Trump Valet Also Gets Indicted

Aide Walt Nauta allegedly moved boxes of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 1:09 PM CDT
In Mar-a-Lago Case, One New Indictment and 2 Ex-Lawyers
Former President Donald Trump speaks with supporters on June 1 in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

A second person has been indicted alongside former President Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, with Trump himself announcing it. That individual is Walt Nauta, described by Axios as being "Trump's personal aide and a military valet in the White House." Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform Friday that the DOJ would be indicting "a wonderful man, Walt Nauta, a member of the U.S. Navy, who served proudly with me in the White House, retired as Senior Chief, and then transitioned into private life as a personal aide. He has done a fantastic job!"

Trump added of Nauta: "They are trying to destroy his life, like the lives of so many others, hoping that he will say bad things about 'Trump.' He is strong, brave, and a Great Patriot." A "person familiar with the matter" confirms Nauta's indictment to the Wall Street Journal, which notes that Nauta has been a target of the probe for some time "after he was seen on surveillance footage moving boxes from a storage room before and after investigators issued a May subpoena seeking the return of all government documents in Trump's possession." Nauta has reportedly told investigators that Trump had instructed him to do so.

The case against the two men has been assigned to Trump-appointed US District Judge Aileen Cannon. Cannon was the judge who OK'd the Trump team request in 2022 to appoint an outside "special master" to review the classified documents seized from the Mar-a-Lago estate in South Florida. Meanwhile, Friday also saw Trump's legal team get a bit of a shake-up. Per Politico, two of the former president's top attorneys, Jim Trusty and John Rowley, have resigned from his defense team. The lawyers noted they would no longer be representing Trump in either the Mar-a-Lago case or the pending January 6 probe, per a statement cited by CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

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"Now that the [Mar-a-Lago] case has been filed to Miami, this is a logical moment for us to step aside and let others carry the cases through to their completion," they wrote. In another Truth Social post, Trump thanked Trusty and Rowley and noted that going forward, "I will be represented by Todd Blanche, Esq., and a firm to be named later." The Journal notes that Trump is now "facing the biggest legal threat in his life"—one that "[points] to the possibility of prison time" if he's convicted of the charges against him. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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