Donald Trump’s aide Walt Nauta pleaded not guilty in US federal court on Thursday to the additional charges brought against him in late July in the case of the former president’s alleged negligent handling of confidential documents.
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Donald Trump is accused of having compromised the security of the United States by keeping confidential documents after his departure from the White House in January 2021, including military plans or information on nuclear weapons, in his residence Mar-a- Lago in Florida, instead of turning them over to the National Archives as required by law.
Both were already charged in June in this case in federal court in Florida, where they will be tried from May 2024.
In a court document released on July 27, federal prosecutors accuse Mr. Trump of trying, with the help of Mr. Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira, the manager of Mar-A-Lago, to delete images of video surveillance that interested the investigators.
The latter two both appeared on Thursday, but only Mr. Nauta was able to plead not guilty during a hearing of about ten minutes. Mr. de Oliveira, who does not yet have a local lawyer, will plead guilty or not guilty at an upcoming hearing.
In a written notification to the court last week, Donald Trump had indicated that he pleaded not guilty to these new charges and waived his appearance on Thursday.
He is the target of about forty counts, including “illegal retention of information relating to national security”, “obstructing justice” and “false testimony” in this case.
The ex-president is prosecuted in particular under a law on espionage, which prohibits keeping state secrets in unauthorized and unsecured places.