The Department of Justice indicted former President Donald Trump’s longtime aide Walt Nauta as part of its mishandling of classified documents investigation into the 45th president.
Nauta served as Trump’s military valet while he was in the White House, and then retired from the Navy to become his personal aide after the Republican left office.
The Washington Post reported Friday that federal prosecutors viewed Nauta as a key witness in its case against Trump, given the veteran’s responsibilities included handling boxes containing documents that had been shipped to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, after his term ended in January 2021.
“On Friday, a 49-page indictment was unsealed charging the Navy Veteran with six criminal counts, alleging that he conspired with and helped the former president hide his unlawful retained classified documents from Trump’s attorney, the FBI and a grand jury, and lying about it. The offenses are punishable by up to 20 years in prison,” according to the Post.
Trump responded to news of Nauta’s indictment by writing in a Truth Social post, “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.”
“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’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, alleged in a letter to Chief Judge for the District of Columbia James Boasberg, that prosecutors summoned him to the Justice Department around November, when they were trying to get his client to flip on Trump, the Guardian reported.
Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence section, reportedly told Woodward that Nauta had given potentially conflicting testimony that could result in false statements charges, so it would be best to get him to cooperate against Trump.
“Bratt then turned to Woodward and remarked that he did not think that Woodward was a ‘Trump guy’ and that ‘he would do the right thing,’ before noting that he knew Woodward had submitted an application to be a judge at the superior court in Washington DC that was currently pending, [Woodward’s] letter said,” according to the Guardian.
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) June 9, 2023
“The allegation, in essence, is that Bratt suggested Woodward’s judicial application might be considered more favorably if he and his client cooperated against Trump. The letter was filed after Trump’s lawyers submitted a motion on Monday seeking grand jury transcripts, because of what they viewed as potential misconduct,” the Guardian said.
On Friday, special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the Trump documents case, unsealed the indictment against the former president.
It contains 37 criminal charges, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Nauta’s charges are incorporated in the 49-page indictment document.
Trump aide Walt Nauta has been INDICTED alongside Donald Trump, the WSJ reports.
Donald Trump just confirmed the report on his social media app.
Nauta had reportedly been intricately involved in moving boxes of classified documents before federal agents searched the… pic.twitter.com/bBUJqMAHM0
— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) June 9, 2023
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team employed the same tactic in the Russia probe that Smith’s prosecutors are seeking to use against Nauta.
Mueller’s prosecutors charged Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, former Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn, and Trump friend Roger Stone with crimes while seeking to get them to testify against Trump, but none did.
Trump ultimately pardoned them all before leaving office.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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