Trump Aide Pleads Not Guilty

Former aide to Donald Trump, Walt Nauta, asserted his innocence at a Miami-based federal courthouse on Thursday, contesting the charges that he assisted the previous U.S. president in concealing highly confidential documents Trump took with him as he exited the White House in 2021.

Upon his court arrival, Nauta offered a smile to the journalists present but refrained from making any statements. His attorney entered his plea on his behalf.

Nauta initially appeared in court with Trump on June 13, but the arraignment was postponed twice due to the absence of a Florida-licensed attorney.

Trump, currently leading the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, denies 37 criminal charges leveled against him. These charges include allegedly keeping classified national security documents unlawfully and obstructing justice.

As a former White House valet and now an aide to Trump, Nauta is charged with six counts that include conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and withholding and hiding documents.

The prosecution asserts that Nauta concealed containers filled with documents from Trump’s legal team, who were searching for classified materials requested by the U.S. Justice Department. They also accuse him of misleading investigators during a voluntary interview.

The prosecution has requested U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to postpone the trial until Dec. 11, despite an original trial date set for Aug. 14.

Trump holds the unprecedented status of being the first U.S. president, current or former, to face criminal charges in both federal and state courts.

Lead prosecutor and Special Counsel Jack Smith, accuses Trump of compromising national security by leaving the White House in January 2021 with thousands of sensitive documents and storing them carelessly at his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida and his golf club in New Jersey.

Trump also faces charges in New York for allegedly manipulating business records to conceal payments made to an adult film star during his 2016 presidential campaign, a case in which he also denies the charges.

Trump maintains his innocence, insisting that these investigations are part of a politically motivated campaign against him.

Judge Cannon has scheduled a hearing on July 14 to discuss the handling of classified information in the case. Legal professionals predict that the intricacies involved with using highly classified documents as evidence will likely cause delays in Trump’s trial.