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Former President Donald Trump and his personal aide Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty on Thursday to new federal charges in the classified documents superseding the indictment brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Trump, who was already facing more than 40 charges in the indictment, was charged with one additional count of willful retention of national defense information and two additional obstruction counts. He reportedly entered his plea deal through his attorneys after he waived his right last week to make an in-person appearance in court at the Thursday hearing.
The charges stem from alleged attempts to delete surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago after investigators delivered a subpoena to Trump seeking the materials in his possession.
Co-defendant Nauta, who already faced four charges, was accused of misleading investigators in the case. He pleaded not guilty to obstruction of justice and false statements on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shaniek Mills Maynard in Florida, Reuters reported.
Nauta, who was a member of the United States Navy stationed as a valet in the White House while Trump was in office, became Trump’s executive assistant and served as Trump’s “personal aide or ‘body man,’ in August 2021, the indictment says.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort property manager Carlos De Oliveira also appeared in court on Thursday but did not enter a plea, after lawyers said he has yet to secure legal counsel licensed to practice in Florida.
De Oliveira was named a co-defendant for allegedly hiding security camera footage from federal investigators. He is also accused of helping Nauta move boxes of classified material around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property after the Department of Justice issued a subpoena seeking the materials.
All three defendants stood before Magistrate Judge Maynard in the Fort Pierce federal courthouse on Thursday morning during their arraignment, according to The Miami Herald.
The trial is scheduled to take place at the courthouse in May 2024
According to the classified documents indictment, Trump stored information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.
The former president allegedly had classified documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Department of Energy, and the Department of State and Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
Prosecutors accused the former president of storing the classified information in a bathroom, shower, and ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida. The indictment also alleges Trump shared classified information with unauthorized people at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Ryan Saavedra contributed to this report.