Trump Valet Set for Arraignment in Classified Documents Case

MIAMI (AP) -- A valet for Donald Trump is set to be arraigned Tuesday on charges that he helped the former president hide classified documents that the Justice Department wanted back.

Walt Nauta was charged earlier this month alongside Trump in a 38-count indictment filed by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith. Though Trump has already entered a not guilty plea to the charges, a judge postponed the arraignment for Nauta to give him time to find a Florida-based lawyer.

The indictment accuses Nauta of conspiring with Trump to conceal records that he had taken with him from the White House to his Florida property, Mar-a-Lago.

Prosecutors allege that Nauta, at the former president's direction, moved boxes of documents bearing classification markings so that they would not be found by a Trump lawyer who was tasked with searching the home for classified records to be returned to the government. That, prosecutors said, resulted in a false representation to the Justice Department that a "diligent search" for classified documents had been done and that all documents responsive to a subpoena had been returned.

Nauta is a Navy veteran who fetched Trump's Diet Cokes as his valet at the White House before joining him as a personal aide at Mar-a-Lago. He is regularly by Trump's side, even traveling in Trump's motorcade to the Miami courthouse for their appearance earlier this month and accompanying him afterwards to a stop at the city's famed Cuban restaurant Versailles, where he helped usher supporters eager to take selfies with the former president.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department last week proposed a Dec. 11 trial date for Trump, requesting a postponement from a judge's initial date in August.

And on Monday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon denied a Justice Department request to file under seal the names of 84 potential witnesses they want Trump to be ordered to have no contact with as the case moves forward.

She said that in her view, the Justice Department did not explain why it needed to file the list with the court or why it was necessary to seal the list from public view.