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Walt Nauta, aide to Donald Trump, pleads not guilty in classified documents case

Former President Donald Trump's valet Walt Nauta visits Versailles restaurant with Trump on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami. Nauta, a personal aide whom prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump's residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement, entered his plea on Thursday, July 6. in federal court.
Alex Brandon
/
AP
Former President Donald Trump's valet Walt Nauta visits Versailles restaurant with Trump on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, in Miami. Nauta, a personal aide whom prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump's residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement, entered his plea on Thursday, July 6. in federal court.

MIAMI — An aide to former President Trump, Walt Nauta has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he conspired with Trump to withhold classified documents.

Nauta faces, along with Trump, five counts of concealing or withholding documents and taking part in a conspiracy to obstruct justice, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The federal indictment alleges that Nauta moved dozens of boxes containing classified documents at Trump's direction at Mar-a-Lago, Trump's home in Palm Beach, Fla., and then lied to federal investigators about it.

Nauta is a Navy veteran who began working in the White House mess and then later as a valet to then-President Trump. After Trump left office, Nauta exited the Navy and began working for the former President personally.

This is the third time his arraignment has been scheduled. Nauta asked for his first appearance to be postponed because he didn't yet have a local attorney (Sasha Dadan represented Nauta on Thursday). Last week's hearing was rescheduled after his flight to Miami was canceled.

Prosecutors have told U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon they would like to begin Trump's trial on December 11. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges including that he allegedly retained dozens of classified documents and conspired to obstruct justice.

Read the indictment of Walt Nauta and Donald Trump here:

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As NPR's Miami correspondent, Greg Allen reports on the diverse issues and developments tied to the Southeast. He covers everything from breaking news to economic and political stories to arts and environmental stories. He moved into this role in 2006, after four years as NPR's Midwest correspondent.
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