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Trump docs case co-defendant has arraignment delayed again

BusinessTrump docs case co-defendant has arraignment delayed again

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Walt Nauta, personal aide to former U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives at Alto Lee Adams Sr. U.S. Courthouse, in Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S. August 10, 2023. 

Marco Bello | Reuters

The newest defendant in former President Donald Trump‘s classified documents case failed to enter a plea in court Thursday due to an issue with his local counsel, NBC News reported.

Carlos De Oliveira, a property manager at Trump’s Palm Beach resort home Mar-a-Lago, was set to be arraigned alongside another co-defendant in an appearance before Magistrate Judge Shaniek Mills Maynard at a federal courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida.

But the judge issued a continuance for De Oliveira until next Tuesday because his local attorney has not presented all the necessary court filings in the case, NBC reported.

It was the second time that De Oliveira’s entry of a plea in the case had been postponed due to a legal hang up.

Walt Nauta, Trump’s valet, pleaded not guilty to the latest charges against him during the hearing, according to NBC.

Thursday’s scheduled arraignment in special counsel Jack Smith’s case stemmed from a new batch of charges filed in a superseding indictment last month.

Trump, who was also hit with additional charges in the superseding indictment, has already pleaded not guilty. The former president has waived his appearance in Thursday’s court proceedings.

Trump was first charged in June with 37 criminal counts on charges including willful retention of national defense information and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The charges relate to Trump’s storage of hundreds of sensitive classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, and his alleged efforts to keep those records from the government, after he left the presidency in 2021. Nauta was also charged at that time with six crimes.

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The following month, Smith brought a superseding indictment that added three new counts against Trump. Two of those new counts center on an alleged attempt to delete surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago in June 2022. The security footage had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, according to the indictment.

Carlos De Oliveira, property manager of former US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, arrives at the Alto Lee Adams Sr. US Courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, on August 10, 2023.

Eva Marie Uzcategui | AFP | Getty Images

Trump was also hit with a new count of retaining a classified document detailing military plans, which he had allegedly shown to multiple people without security clearances at his New Jersey golf club after leaving office in 2021. News outlets have published an audio tape of that meeting.

The superseding indictment also added De Oliveira as a new defendant in the classified documents case. De Oliveira faces four criminal counts related to his alleged role in the scheme to delete the security footage.

The special counsel’s case marked the first time a former U.S. president has ever faced federal criminal charges.

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Smith’s office last week brought separate charges against Trump in Washington, D.C., federal court, accusing him of illegally conspiring to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Trump was also charged in March by Manhattan prosecutors with falsifying business records related to hush money payments made in 2016 to women who say they had extramarital affairs with him.

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Trump has pleaded not guilty in both of those cases, and he has denied having the affairs. He has raged against his legal predicament, accusing Biden, Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland and others of orchestrating a conspiracy to torpedo his 2024 presidential campaign.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates.

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