Trump FL Indictment: Walt Nauta Also Charged

Here is the Florida Indictment charging Donald Trump and his aide Walt Nauta in the Classified Documents case.

Trump is charged in a whopping 37 counts. Nauta, a is charged in 6 counts. Who is Walt Nauta?

[A] military aide working as a White House valet while Mr. Trump was president.

Nauta retired and went to work for Trump as a personal aide after Trump left Washington. [More...]

According to the Times article, he refused to cooperate against Trump and therefore got indicted, based on surveillance footage showing him moving boxes and, on another occasion, finding the contents of a spilled box, including one showing "SECRET//REL TO USA, FVEY."

How would a valet have known FVEY stands for the "Five Eyes" intelligence alliance whose members are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the United States? (I don't think I knew that until 2012 when they popped up in Kim DotCom's Megaupload case as the result of the New Zealand Prime Minister issuing an apology to Dotcom for illegally intercepting him.

Allegedly,Nauta texted another employee “I opened the door and found this…”

Trump is now proclaiming the innocence and berating the horrible government that indicted Nauta. Maybe Trump needs to blame himself for having Nauta do his dirty work for him.

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    There are a number of possible reasons (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 10, 2023 at 10:55:13 AM EST
    from the POV of prosecutorial strategy for indicting Nauta. First, he committed (according to the prosecutors) the cardinal sin of promising to cooperate and then lying in his FBI interview. See Count 38. This turned him from a potentially great insider witness to a dangerous liability, easily accused (were he to testify for the govt against Tr*mp) of being a liar and thus casting doubt on the credibility of Special Counsel's entire case. Second, it probably blocks him from testifying as a sympathetic witness for Tr*mp. And third, if they stand trial together it gives the jury someone to feel sorry for and cut a break, possibly acquitting him on some or all counts. If so, and if Tr*mp is convicted by the same jury at the same trial, that helps the prosecutors on appeal (and in the court of public opinion), in that it underscores the reliability of the verdict by showing the jury to be discriminating and careful rather than emotional or biased. And there may be other reasons.

    Ignorance of the law and of Trump is not an excuse (none / 0) (#30)
    by john horse on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 07:44:14 AM EST
    I can understand Nauta doing what his boss told him to do, but being a fool is no excuse for breaking the law.

    I encourage everyone read the indictment.  

    First, he committed (according to the prosecutors) the cardinal sin of promising to cooperate and then lying in his FBI interview.
     I saw no evidence that Nauta "promised to cooperate".  Please provide citation.

    Nauta sat down with the investigating agents, (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 09:36:17 AM EST
    in the presence of his attorney, and proceeded voluntarily to answer their questions. In my decades of federal criminal defense experience this indicates a "proffer session," which is the first step in a strategy of cooperating. (Not necessarily "cooperating" in the sense of agreeing to become a witness against others, but in the sense of not standing on a Fifth Amendment/"prove it" approach, but rather a "we have nothing to hide" attitude.)

    It may be (none / 0) (#32)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    at some point, Waltine Nauta may want to reconsider whether he wants to be a criminal  defendant or a witness to a crime.

    Nauta, along with Trump, is alleged to have helped pack the boxes before leaving the White House.  Cooperation would seem likely to have been sought by prosecutors to bolster the case (and may still be extremely important if Judge Cannon does not permit admission of  key evidence).

    Indeed, if Nauta had cooperated at the outset, Jack Smith may have filed the case in Washington, DC rather than Florida, having a fact witness to the starting point of the unlawful misadventure.

    Nauta, the former Navy cook and petty officer (a military valet who fetched diet cokes for Trump at the White House) followed Trump to Mar a Lago when he left office becoming an aide on a Trump PAC payroll.

    Nauta was booked in Miami federal court but was not arraigned along with Trump, and granted bond with the same conditions as Trump.  But he was not arraigned because he did not have a local attorney and asked for an extension, which was scheduled for June 27.

    It has been reported that Trump is paying his legal costs, but Nauta May not want to bet the farm on that. Also, he may find his shiny new life to become tarnished as have so many of Trump's once upon a time loyalists. Facing jail time may have an impact on his thinking. That proffer may start to look a lot better, if it is still on the table.


    Thanks for the clarification Peter (none / 0) (#34)
    by john horse on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 05:45:17 PM EST
    Based on your legal experience don't you think it was unwise for Nauta to "not stand on the Fifth" if he had something to hide?  If they have solid evidence that he is lying, wouldn't you recommend that he start cooperating ( in the sense of agreeing to become a witness against others)?



    Yes, as I suggested in my first comment, (none / 0) (#35)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 06:53:10 PM EST
    Nauta's valid choices were silence (and take your chances), negotiate a pre-indictment guilty plea to some acceptable, lesser charge without cooperating, or complete and honest cooperation. There is no in-between. Once you pretend to cooperate and then lie, it is very unusual for the government to give you a second chance, because it so damages your value as a witness. I have only seen someone given that second chance who was the sole, inside witness to a very serious crime committed by someone else against whom the government does not otherwise have sufficient evidence but desperately wants to "get." I am thinking, for example, of a Mafia turncoat hitman willing to testify against the Boss or Underboss.

    I agree this is all extremely unfair (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Peter G on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 09:36:32 AM EST
    and shows unequal treatment. I protest. Any other defendant in a similar case would have been arrested at gunpoint, at home without warning, some morning at 6 a.m., held in jail until arraignment, and then subjected to a government motion for detention pending trial. So unfair!

    Where are (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 10:08:23 AM EST
    the hand cuffs?

    Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 06:55:47 PM EST
    When asked on Fox News (natch!) yesterday about Trump's arraignment, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) responded with a question: "If his name was Donald Smith, would this be happening?"

    No, it wouldn't. As you just noted above, if his name was Donald Smith, he'd have already been arrested, denied bail and jailed last year pending his trial.

    Or as I can also see it, if his name was Donald Smith, he would have been drafted into the Army right out of high school 59 years ago, and then sent to Vietnam where he'd have developed a taste for opium. Then he'd would've returned to the states and discharged with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder. No doubt, he would probably have been married and divorced several times by now. And today, he'd be on SSDI and living with his eldest daughter and her family, waiting patiently by the phone - even as we speak - for the VA to return his call to schedule an appointment to see a doctor four months hence about his chronic opioid addiction.

    The GOP's perverse sense of victimhood is simply repulsive.


    I wish Andrea would retire. (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by desertswine on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 01:45:28 PM EST

    Oh my God (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 01:45:57 PM EST

    She's become difficult to watch. (none / 0) (#28)
    by desertswine on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 04:44:53 PM EST
    Equally hard to listen to (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 04:49:07 PM EST
    she has a tone....

    Unequal justice system? (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 01:53:28 PM EST

    If the DOJ has been weaponized and there are two systems of justice, one for Democrats and one for the GQP, why are not GQPers being indicted across the country? Where's the coast to coast witch hunts?

    Paxton got removed in Texas. But, uhhhhh, that was by GQPers. Otherwise, where's the beef?

    Seems to me, just one guy is being indicted, cause, jeez, he's the guy running around like a mob capo.

    Q & A. (Hypothetical) (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 11:39:14 AM EST
    Is it ethical to accept hospitality such as free lodging at the Trump Doral during a stolen national security document trial that may last over a month?  The commute from Ft Pierce, my home, to Miami is over two hours.
    Asking for a judge.

    Yes, of course, go for it.  It would be impolite to refuse such gracious hospitality.  Signed, Clarence

    Light reading (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 09:34:21 PM EST
    I like to keep a few top secret documents in the bathroom.

    Sometimes a nuclear secret gets things going better than a cup of coffee.

    So (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 01, 2023 at 07:51:41 PM EST
    The Log Cabin (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 03, 2023 at 10:51:54 AM EST
    Republicans spoke out against Ronda's ad but yet it seems they would still vote for him for president. It is beyond my understanding.

    And then they were called groomers by Trumpers. The best description I have seen of this garbage is that it is 1970 level Anita Bryant.


    My own take on this new assault (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 03, 2023 at 11:40:26 AM EST
    is that definitely seems to be what they are going for.  

    But it's not 1970.

    I refuse to run around with my hair on fire because a stupid bigot trying to build on the freak success of Trump is doing blatantly racist and homophobic things.

    This might frighten the millennials, hopefully enough to vote, but the rest of us have seen this movie before.  When it was much more dangerous and threatening.

    We won before. And learned a lot.  We will win again.  

    For these fascist morons this is a great example of the danger of not knowing history.

    They act like they think they invented this sh!t.


    I am (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 03, 2023 at 08:04:30 PM EST
    reminded of the gay bashing 2004 Bush campaign. Just my opinion but that was the last time they won the popular vote so they think they can dust up that playbook and win again. Well, yeah, it's not 1970 and it's also not 2004. And like you say there are a lot of young people who don't go for that crap.

    I watched Pray the Gay Away on Netflix and it was really informational. The Bush campaigned literally sat in a room brainstorming and made up crap about gay people. They said oh, we can't just be against gay marriage because that is not scary enough. We have to say gays want to destroy traditional marriage among other things like you can marry a toaster. I am sure that is where this whole trans thing came from too. We know that the whole CRT controversy was invented by Chris Rufo.


    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jul 03, 2023 at 08:15:02 PM EST
    Lee Atwater probably did not invent the concept of a solution in search of a problem but he refined it

    When I see the name (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Zorba on Sun Jul 02, 2023 at 03:10:07 PM EST
    Walt Nauta, I can't help but think of Laugh In's Arte Johnson's character Tyrone: "Want a Walnetto?"
    (Okay, I'm old.)

    Michigan's AG (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jul 18, 2023 at 03:26:19 PM EST
    Charges 16 in fake electors scam


    Michigan AG charges participants in 2020 fake elector plot

    We might need an open thread

    Waltine (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 10, 2023 at 08:04:02 AM EST
    A name I had not heard

    The bobbleheads were spectating (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 10, 2023 at 08:22:05 AM EST
    that one reason he might have been charged with Trump is that two of them standing together in the courtroom would be different than Trump alone

    And if this navy veteran who was just doing what he was told is convicted it makes it pretty hard for any one serious to argue Trump should not be convicted.

    No idea if this is true but it makes sense to me.

    Trump gets advice from OJ (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 11, 2023 at 03:43:04 PM EST
    I somehow don't think the problem is that (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 11, 2023 at 04:29:34 PM EST
    Tr*mp's lawyers are not giving him good advice. It is his refusal to take advice that he doesn't like or want to hear.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 11, 2023 at 06:52:53 PM EST
    and then there were reports about how mad he was about the "happy talk" from his attorneys. There apparently is some positive for an attorney representing him but I certainly don't know what it is. IMO Corcoran had such great notes and recordings because he thought Trump was going to make him the fall guy for the documents still being in Mar A Lago.

    But Trump can't stop talking, mon capitan. (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 14, 2023 at 07:05:16 PM EST
    He just can't. The guy's been a braggadocious blabbermouth his entire friggin' life, and present and future indictments notwithstanding, that's simply not going to change now at this late date.

    Trump is a defense counsel's worst nightmare client and a prosecutor's ultimate fantasy defendant, all rolled up into one. And it's to our country's great fortune right now that he is.



    Another layer (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Jun 11, 2023 at 03:54:18 PM EST

    Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is considering a presidential run, addressed the Ronald Reagan Library's "A Time for Choosing" speaker series on Thursday. The series has been a key stop for prospective GOP presidential candidates.

    President Biden travels to Connecticut on Friday for an event. Details have yet to be announced.

    Nauta should be cooperating (none / 0) (#8)
    by john horse on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 04:42:46 AM EST
    Based on what I read in the indictment (and lets not forget that Nauta is presumed innocent and we may not have all the facts) if I was Nauta, I would be cooperating with the prosecutors.  

    They say (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 08:13:05 AM EST
    the first thing Trump is likely to ask judge Cannon to do is bar the evidence from the pierced attorney client privilege.

    Will she do it?  Will the 11th circuit undo it?

    Eric Holder (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 08:42:09 AM EST
    said yesterday that the way Cannon can help Trump is by delaying the trial. She can delay until after the 2024 election.

    With all the other indictments coming down the pike and J6 probably likely to be a trial after the presidential election no matter what I'm not sure that helps all that much.


    I agree with this (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 11:32:44 AM EST
    A motion "in limine" (at the outset, i.e., before trial) to bar the use of the Corcoran evidence on Atty-Client Privilege grounds is an obvious defense move. If the motion is granted, Smith would have a right to appeal that ruling pretrial (most pretrial rulings are not appealable) if he is willing to certify that the evidence is important to his case (which it appears to be). See second paragraph the governing statute.

    Judge Aileen Cannon interfered (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 12:00:48 PM EST
    in the investigation, pre-indictment.  She granted Trump's request for a special master on the basis of executive privilege, so as to review the documents seized by the FBI limiting and delaying their use in the investigation.

    Judge Cannon acknowledged she was treating the case differently because of the greater risk to reputation for Trump than to an ordinary citizen. In an order, she wrote  "As a function  of plaintiff's former position as President of the United States the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own".

    On appeal, the very conservative 11th Circuit bench slapped Cannon, overruling her twice, in strong language ,and shutting the whole thing down.

    Judge Cannon should recuse herself from having anything to do with this case. A federal law (28 USC section 455) requires federal judges, including SC justices, to disqualify themselves, in any proceedings in which their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned". It would not seem out of line or be unreasonable to question her impartiality.  And, it is hoped that the special Counsel will do do.


    Sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 01:00:36 PM EST
    Last line should read .....will do so.   But, do do works, too.

    If she did (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 12:32:50 PM EST
    try to keep the attorney/client stuff out could he prove his case against Trump without it?  At least the parts where Trump incriminates himself?

    I read the indictment. It appeared to me there was plenty of criminality that did not rely on that.


    The prosecutors could probably prove (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 01:23:08 PM EST
    most of the counts, although perhaps not all of them, without the Corcoran evidence. But if you look at the statute I linked, you'll see that the evidence at issue need only be "a substantial proof of a fact material in the proceeding" for the prosecution to have a right of pretrial appeal from an order excluding evidence. Not that high a standard to allow an expedited emergency appeal if Judge Cannon makes a crazy ruling. I say "crazy" because the facts, as I understand them, present a textbook case for the "crime-fraud exception" to the attorney-client privilege.

    The indictment (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 12:55:19 PM EST
    seems bullet-proof with or without the pierced attorney-client information by Judge Beryl Howell. It reads like a suspenders and belt indictment, but it probably would make things harder for the prosecution, and you never can be sure in a case like this.

    And, too, the defense may continue attempts to whittle the indictment, at least delaying and delaying., especially if Cannon plays her MAGA hand.  Special Counsel, hopefully, has planned for much of this in decision-making regarding going it in Florida.

    Still curious to me how Cannon was assigned, once again, to this case.  If just luck of the draw, she should run, not walk, to a local  convenience store near her to buy a lottery ticket.


    Dave Aronberg the State Attorney for Palm Beach (none / 0) (#16)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 01:02:29 PM EST
    said this morning on MSNBC that it was on the level in his opinion. That's she was one of 4 possibilities and the person doing the assigning is a straight shooter.

    He is a progressive activist


    Jack Smith (none / 0) (#17)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jun 12, 2023 at 01:07:20 PM EST
    does not seem like the type of prosecutor who leaves much to chance. When "checking the box" for West Palm Beach it was also thought through.  I trust.

    My internet briefly went haywire (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 09:55:05 AM EST
    panicked calling ensued

    Back on now.  

    Wow (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 11:48:10 AM EST
    I'm watching Ken Buck throw Trump under the bus on CNN

    The worm really might be turning

    He (none / 0) (#23)
    by FlJoe on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 12:31:08 PM EST
    had to throw a bunch of what about Hillary ctap in there, but yeah.

    Does this include hand signals? (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 13, 2023 at 04:33:24 PM EST

    Trump Ordered Not to Discuss Case with His Aide

    June 13, 2023 at 5:24 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 8 Comments

    "Former President Donald Trump and his personal aide, Walt Nauta, were ordered by a federal magistrate judge on Tuesday to not discuss their criminal case, even though the two work closely and see each other practically every day," the New York Times reports.

    "Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman, who oversaw the hearing, said that any discussions related to the case must go through their lawyers. Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta have been charged with conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation into Mr. Trump's handling of dozens of classified documents after he left office."

    "The restrictions -- which do not apply to other topics of conversation -- are common for co-defendants in a criminal matter, but they could be particularly challenging to uphold given that Mr. Nauta's job is to follow the former president through his days, attending to various needs."

    The most (none / 0) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 08:48:13 AM EST
    bizarre thing I read yesterday was that Trump wouldn't listen to his own attorneys and was listening to grifters like Tom Fitton who isn't even an attorney. Also apparently his real attorney tried to work out a deal to return everything to the DOJ to avoid an indictment but no dice from Trump.

    Trump is (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by coast on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 11:23:10 AM EST
    the quintessential narcissist.  So this is not bizzare behavior but rather expected.

    This was before the raid (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 12:06:08 PM EST
    I think it's possible he wanted to goad them into taking some aggressive action, maybe even indicting him, because he imagined it would help him win the nomination.

    We know he entered the race early just so he could say he's a candidate.


    4 days including the weekend (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 06:45:11 PM EST
    I like the scheduling so far

    Judge Orders Lawyers to Obtain Security Clearances
    June 15, 2023 at 5:13 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 161 Comments

    "U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued her first order since former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith for allegedly mishandling classified information, instructing the parties to get the ball rolling to obtain security clearances for the lawyers who will need them," CNN reports.

    "By June 20, she wants the lawyers to file a notice confirming they have complied with her instructions

    If you'd like to look into the Classified (none / 0) (#43)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 07:24:13 PM EST
    Information Procedures Act, here it is. I had only one case in my career that implicated it, and I withdrew from representing the defendant rather than comply with getting the required clearance. It wasn't worth the money to me to subject myself to that level of investigation and scrutiny by the federal government. Not for the "privilege" of representing an arms dealer charged with violating the anti-apartheid sanctions.

    Is two business days (none / 0) (#44)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 07:45:11 PM EST
    enough time?

    Since it (none / 0) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 15, 2023 at 09:35:16 PM EST
    seems Judge Aileen Cannon will not recuse, and the Special Counsel is not likely to request her recusal , at least not initially taking a longer look to see how her early rulings go (if off the wall could ask the 11th Circuit)  I am wondering if there is too much worrying about delays.

    While a reasonable goal would be to resolve the case prior to the Republican primaries, and certainly before the 2024 election, so as to inform the electorate, it may be better, from a political point of view, to proceed with the trial as the presidential campaigns continue.  


    Were I Special Counsel Jack Smith, ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 16, 2023 at 02:17:19 PM EST
    ... and analyzing this situation strictly from a strategic sense, I'd wait for Judge Aileen Cannon to first engage in what could reasonably be surmised by a lay person like me as an overtly performative act on behalf of the defendant(s), before actively seeking her recusal.

    There's really no sense lighting the fuse of that firecracker before there's a good reason to do so. In that regard, I'm going to assume that Judge Cannon isn't a mad, raving, looney tunes MAGAlomaniac and can still be somewhat reasonable, at least from a selfish perspective.

    I mean, Cannon is what, 40-41 years old? Through no fault of her own and thanks to a freakish alignment of the stars in the fall and winter of 2020-21, she's now got a great gig - for life! Why phuque all that up by falling on her sword professionally on behalf of a man who, legally and politically, has likely already been mortally wounded?

    The odds of the 11th Circuit Court once again sweeping aside her nonsense upon DOJ's almost certain appeal are pretty good. Further, she'll have given the next Democratic-led Congress a thoroughly legitimate and more than decent reason to go all Alcee Hastings on her.

    Of course, I freely concede that Aileen Cannon could also prove me wrong by yelling "Yah-HOO! I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs! Cuckoo for cocoa puffs! Cuckoo for cocoa puffs! ..." from the bench at Jack Smith & Co., Ltd., whereupon she will probably appear at her future House impeachment hearing dressed in a bear skin with a Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes helmet on her head, snarling through her testimony like a wolverine whose prospective next meal had just been purloined by a pack of coyotes.

    We'll just have to let events play out.



    I understood Judge Cannon's order (none / 0) (#46)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 16, 2023 at 01:53:06 PM EST
    only to have required counsel to acknowledge within two days their awareness of the need to either have a security clearance or to initiate the process of getting one. Not to complete the process, which takes much longer than that.

    To jail, or not to jail (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 17, 2023 at 05:40:24 PM EST
    More charges coming? (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jul 01, 2023 at 06:33:38 PM EST