Javin Botsford/Washington Post/Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump’s aide Walt Nauta follows Trump as he boards a plane March 13, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
An aide to former President Donald Trump has been indicted in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the unauthorized handling of classified documents from the President’s White House.
Walt Nauta’s indictment is the second in the special counsel’s investigation. Trump is charged with 37 counts, including charges related to intentional retention of defense information, according to the indictment, which was unsealed on Friday.
Nauta faces six counts, including several counts related to obstruction and cover-up related to the alleged conduct.
According to the indictment, prosecutors allege Nauta lied to investigators during an FBI interview in May 2022. He allegedly lied before Trump provided 15 boxes to the National Archives in 2022, saying he didn’t know the boxes had been brought to the Trump residence for inspection. be.
However, according to the indictment, Nauta himself helped move the box from the storage room to the Trump residence.
“When asked if he knew where Trump’s box was kept before it was placed in President Trump’s official residence and whether it was kept in a secure or locked area, Nauta said: I gave a false answer: ‘I wish I could have told you.’ I don’t know.
Between November 2021 and January 2022, Nauta and another Trump employee brought boxes from the Mar-a-Lago storage room to the Trump residence at the direction of the former president, according to the indictment. .
“In fact, Nauta, with the help of Trump employee 2, knew that the box in Pine Hall came from the storage room because Nauta himself had moved from the storage room to Pine Hall. Nauta saw the box inside and moved it to various locations at the Mar-a-Lago Club,” the indictment reads.
A lawyer for Nauta declined to comment earlier on Friday. Nauta was with Trump at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, this week.
President Trump reacted to Nauta’s indictment on social media on Friday, saying, “They are taking his life, as well as the lives of so many others, in the hope that Nauta will speak ill of ‘Trump’. I’m trying to destroy it,” he wrote. He is strong, brave and a great patriot. The FBI and DOJ are corrupt! ”
Nauta’s involvement in moving boxes of classified material at Trump’s Florida resort has come under investigative scrutiny. Nauta enlisted the help of Mar-a-Lago maintenance personnel to move the box before the FBI executed a search warrant on the Palm Beach property last August.
According to court filings last year, the FBI found more than 100 documents marked classified during the investigation. The investigation comes weeks after Trump’s attorney signed a statement certifying that the Trump campaign complied with a May subpoena seeking all classified documents. marking.
CNN previously reported that investigators had obtained surveillance footage showing Nauta and workers moving boxes containing classified documents around the resort. Nauta said he had spoken to investigators repeatedly during the investigation and initially said he did not handle boxes or classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
But Nauta changed his mind after the surveillance footage was released, and CNN previously reported that after changing lawyers, his aides en masse stopped talking to investigators last fall.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report Nauta’s indictment.
This story has been updated with additional developments.