A personal aide to Donald Trump in the White House and after his presidency pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Miami, in a delayed development in Trump’s classified documents case.
A lawyer for Walt Nauta, Trump’s personal aide, told a judge that his client “takes very seriously the charges.”
The same day, Trump said special counsel Jack Smith, who is running the investigation, “looks like a crackhead.”
After Trump’s departure from the White House in January 2021 following his reelection defeat, Nauta went to work for the 45th president at his Florida estate.
Nauta is charged with six counts, including conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.
Nauta was accompanied in court by Florida lawyer Sasha Dadan and Trump lawyer Stan Woodward. His arraignment had been delayed, reportedly because he had trouble obtaining local legal counsel to represent him.
On June 27, U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres postponed the arraignment for the second time until Thursday, but warned the defendant: “You need to really try to make it your drop-dead deadline to get somebody here.”
Nauta wanted to “express his sincerest condolences to the court,” Woodward told the judge Thursday. “He takes very seriously the charges.”
Trump repeatedly has called the probe a political witch hunt.
Writing on Truth Social, his social media platform, Trump referred to the cocaine discovered over the weekend at the White House, saying: “Has Deranged Jack Smith, the crazy Trump hating special prosecutor, been seen in the area of the COCAINE? He looks like a crackhead to me.”
According to the federal grand jury indictment, Nauta can be seen on surveillance footage moving boxes.
Nauta, a Guam native, is a veteran of the Navy, where he held the rank of senior chief culinary specialist. Various media accounts have referred to Nauta as a “valet” or “body man” for Trump during his post-presidency. His title has been executive assistant.
The indictment says that Nauta “reported to Trump, worked closely with Trump and traveled with Trump.”
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