Former President Donald J. Trump’s personal assistant and a co-defendant in the classified documents case told a federal judge on Friday that he wants to retain his attorney despite a conflict of interest that could complicate his defense.
Assistant, Walt Nauta, Mr. After Trump left office, he was accused of conspiring to block efforts to retrieve highly sensitive government documents. His lawyer, Stanley Woodward Jr., was a key witness in the case earlier.
The co-defendants of the case Mr. The trial ended in a month of back-and-forth between the prosecution and the defense over whether their attorneys, including Nauta, understood the possibility of conflicts. Judge Aileen M. Cannon of Federal District Court in Fort Pierce, Fla., ordered special prosecutor Jack Smith’s attorneys to bring a scenario they hadn’t previously disclosed, a continuation of a cutback this month. Court filing.
On Friday, Judge Cannon spent nearly an hour discussing Mr. Nauta confirmed that he understood the “potential risks” that could affect his security.
Mr. Still employed by Trump, Mr. Nauta, Mr. By retaining Woodward, he assured the judge that he understood that he was waiving his right to appeal a potential conviction based on the fact that his defense counsel had a conflict.
Mr. Mr. Represented by Woodward. In some cases, Mr. Mr. Woodward is paid by Trump’s political action committee.
Until this summer, one of those customers, Mr. An IT assistant at Trump’s private club and residence, Mar-a-Lago, is considered a key witness in the case. Court documents refer to him only as Trump employee 4, although people familiar with the matter identified him as Yusil Taveras.
Mr. According to Taveras, Mr. Nauta and another co-defendant, Carlos de Oliveira, tried to convince him to delete the surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, which prosecutors had filed as part of their investigation. But Mr. Taveras, faced with the possibility of perjury for lying to a grand jury, told Mr. The revelation came to light only after Woodward was fired and a new attorney appointed. He then gave fresh evidence.
Mr. Like Nauta, Mar-a-Lago’s property manager, Mr. After De Oliveira left the White House, Mr. Trump is accused of conspiring to obstruct a government criminal investigation into his handling of national security documents.
Mr. Trump is the only Trump staffer to agree to cooperate with the special counsel after facing charges. Only Taveras.
Mr. Mr. Taveras said he would not cross-examine two potential witnesses in the case, including Taveras. Woodward told the special counsel’s office ahead of Friday’s hearing. Mr. Another advocate of Nauda, Sasha Dadan, said that Mr. He said Woodward will cross-examine witnesses he previously or currently represents.
The trial is currently set for May 2024.