Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump’s aide Walt Nauta follows Trump as he boards his plane March 13, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
An aide to former President Donald Trump has been indicted in an investigation by special counsel Jack Smith. Mishandling of classified documents From the Trump White House.
Walt Nauta’s indictment is the second in the special counsel’s investigation. Trump has been charged with 37 counts, including allegations of knowingly withholding national security information, according to the indictment, which was unsealed Friday.
Nauta faces six charges, including several obstruction and cover-up charges stemming from the alleged conduct.
Prosecutors allege Nauta lied to investigators when interviewed by the FBI in May 2022, according to the indictment. Before Trump delivered the 15 boxes to the National Archives in 2022, he allegedly falsely claimed he had no knowledge of the boxes being brought to Trump’s home.
But according to the indictment, Nauta himself helped move the boxes from the storage room to Trump’s residence.
“When asked if he knew where Trump’s boxes were stored and if they were in a safe or locked place before they were in the Trump residence, Nauta falsely replied, ‘I wish I could tell you. I don’t know. I don’t — I really don’t know,'” The charge sheet says.
The indictment alleges that between November 2021 and January 2022, Nauta and another Trump employee brought boxes from a Mar-a-Lago storage room to Trump’s residence at the direction of the former president.
“Nauta knew that the boxes in Pine Hall were from the storage room because Nauta moved the boxes from the storage room to Pine Hall with the assistance of Trump Employee 2; and Nauta observed and moved the boxes to various locations at The Mar-a-Lago Club,” the indictment states.
Nauta’s attorney declined to comment earlier Friday. Nauta was with Trump this week at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.
Trump responded to Nauta’s accusations on social media on Friday, saying, “They are trying to ruin his life like so many others by believing he will speak ill of ‘Trump’. He is strong, courageous, a great patriot. The FBI and DOJ are corrupt!”
Nauta’s involvement in moving boxes of classified material to Trump’s Florida resort is under scrutiny by investigators. Before the FBI executed a search warrant at the Palm Beach property last August, Nauta moved boxes with the help of a maintenance worker at Mar-a-Lago.
According to court filings last year, the FBI found more than 100 documents marked classified during the search, weeks after a Trump lawyer signed off certifying that the Trump team had complied with a May subpoena seeking to declassify all documents. Signs.
CNN previously reported that investigators obtained surveillance footage showing Nauta and the worker moving boxes of classified documents around the resort. Nauta spoke to investigators several times during the trial, initially saying he did not handle boxes or important documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Once the surveillance footage was returned, Nauta changed his story, CNN previously reported, and after switching attorneys, the aide stopped talking to investigators last fall.
The Wall Street Journal First announced the indictment of Nauta.
This story has been updated with additional updates.