Expert: Indictment of Trump aide Walt Nauta suggests he’s not cooperating — but “that could change”

Expert: Indictment of Trump aide Walt Nauta suggests he’s not cooperating — but “that could change”

Former President Donald Trump’s valet Walt Nauta has been indicted in the federal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago residence, sources familiar with the indictment told CNN.

The indictment, which was unsealed Friday, confirmed that Nauta had been charged in the investigation with six total counts: conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal and making false statements. Nauta’s indictment is the second in the special counsel’s probe into the former president.

Trump, who was indicted on 37 counts in the federal investigation, reacted to Nauta’s indictment and condemned the FBI and DOJ Friday morning in a post to Truth Social.

“I have just learned that the ‘Thugs’ from the Department of Injustice will 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,” Trump wrote. “He has done a fantastic job! 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. The FBI and DOJ are CORRUPT!”

Nauta faced investigators’ scrutiny during the probe over his involvement in moving boxes of sensitive documents at Trump’s Florida resort club. He reportedly moved the boxes with the help of a Mar-a-Lago staffer before the FBI’s search of the property in August, in which officials seized more than 100 classified documents, according to court filings from last year. Investigators also obtained surveillance footage that showed Nauta and the worker transporting boxes around the beach club. 

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The former Trump aide had spoken to investigators throughout the probe, initially telling them that he hadn’t handled any boxes of classified materials but changing his tune and refusing to speak with them further once they had obtained the footage.

Former federal prosecutor and legal analyst Renato Mariotti said that Nauta’s indictment alongside Trump indicates that he is not cooperating with investigators.

“That could change,” he continued, quote tweeting The Wall Street Journal, which first reported Nauta’s indictment. “By default, there would be a *joint* trial of both defendants. One or both defendants could seek a separate trial.

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