Home » Trump aides lose bid to dismiss charges related to classified documents hoarded at Mar-a-Lago

Trump aides lose bid to dismiss charges related to classified documents hoarded at Mar-a-Lago

by John Jefferson
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A Florida judge has denied motions from two former Donald Trump aides to have charges relating to the classified documents found at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home dismissed.

Carlos De Oliveira and Walt Nauta were charged with multiple counts of the obstruction of justice alongside Mr Trump last year.

The two men were accused of moving boxes of sensitive information and attempting to delete security footage pertaining to the documents so that it could not be used in a future investigation as evidence.

The pair had sought to have their cases dropped on grounds of lack of specificity, which were described by Mr Nauta as “unconstitutionally vague”. Mr De Oliveira previously claimed he had “no clue” what was in the boxes he had been moving for Mr Trump and was unaware of the Justice Department’s investigation.

On Thursday, US District Judge Aileen Cannon denied the motions.

Carlos De Oliveira, an employee of Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago residence, was charged with multiple counts of obstruction of justice alongside the former president last year (AP)

In the ruling, Judge Cannon noted Mr De Oliveira’s claims that he had no knowledge about the contents of “the boxes” or of an “official proceeding”, and that the allegations had not shown he was acting with the “required ‘corrupt’ criminal intent” to support the charges.

“These characterisations are not grounds to dismiss the obstruction counts against De Oliveira,” she wrote.

“While the indictment does not contain additional details about De Oliveira’s specific knowledge of the grand jury proceeding or the grand jury subpoena… it alleges that he and his co-defendants attempted to delete security camera footage to ‘conceal the footage from the FBI and grand jury’.”

Mr Nauta, she noted, had sought “clarity” about the specifics of “which boxes were allegedly concealed, moved and/or searched” and whether they were “among the 34 that he allegedly concealed”.

Walt Nauta, personal aide to Donald Trump, described the charges against him as ‘unconstitutionally vague’ (REUTERS)

The aide had described the charges against him as “unconstitutionally vague”.

“Although there is reason to understand the request for additional specificity as to the ‘boxes’ and their ‘contents,’ even in light of the lengthy Indictment, the Special Counsel is not legally obligated to provide more detail,” Judge Cannon wrote.

A federal grand jury indicted Mr Trump in June 2023 on 37 charges for allegedly retaining classified national security information after leaving the White House in January 202 and then conspiring to obstruct justice and making false statements to federal officials when they sought to reclaim the documents.

Nearly two months later federal prosecutors added three additional charges – those faced by Mr De Oliveira and Mr Nauta.

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