Trump aide Walt Nauta’s arraignment on classified docs charges is delayed

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(MIAMI) — Former President Donald Trump’s longtime aide, Walt Nauta, could not be arraigned on federal charges Tuesday in Florida as scheduled, after his lawyer told the judge that Nauta has been unable to retain local counsel.

Nauta was charged alongside Trump earlier this month as part of the classified documents case brought by special counsel Jack Smith.

The charges against Nauta include conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.

Nauta’s lawyer, Stan Woodward, also told the judge Tuesday that Nauta’s flight out of Newark, New Jersey, was canceled and that they were unable to rebook him.

Nauta wanted to “express his sincerest condolences to the court,” his lawyer told the judge. “He takes very seriously the charges,” Woodward said.

The judge granted a request for a delay. Arraignment is now set for July 6.

Members of the special counsel’s team did not oppose a delay in the arraignment, but asked that the delay be as “brief as possible.”

Jay Bratt, a member of the special counsel’s team, said they “would like to move forward.”

Smith was not present in court.

Trump pleaded not guilty this month to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities. He has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

Prosecutors allege that Nauta moved boxes containing classified documents around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate at Trump’s direction, in an effort to prevent the documents from being turned over to authorities.

In one instance, prosecutors allege that boxes were moved out of a storage room at the Palm Beach estate before Trump’s attorney searched the room for documents to hand over to investigators in compliance with a grand jury subpoena seeking their return.

According to the indictment, Nauta was seen on surveillance footage moving boxes.

Prosecutors also accuse Nauta of lying to investigators when questioned about his knowledge of the boxes’ whereabouts.

Nauta, a Guam native who enlisted in the Navy in 2001, worked in the Trump White House, where in 2021 he was promoted to the rank of Senior Chief Culinary Specialist, according to Navy records. Trump, according to investigators, subsequently promoted Nauta to be his valet, otherwise known as a “body man.”

After Trump left the White House and moved to Florida, Nauta left the Navy and continued to work for the former president. In August 2021, Nauta became Trump’s executive assistant, serving as his personal aide, a role in which he “reported to Trump, worked closely with Trump and traveled with Trump,” according to the federal indictment.

ABC News’ Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.

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