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Donald Trump's personal valet, Waltine "Walt" Nauta, was indicted as a "co-conspirator" with the former president in the classified documents case.
Prosecutors claim that Nauta moved boxes containing classified documents at Trump's property Mar-a-Lago, despite previously denying the allegation.
Trump was indicted on 37 counts, 31 of which were counts of willful retention of national defense information (a violation of the Espionage Act). The other six include one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice; one count of withholding a document or record; one count of corruptly concealing a document or record; one count of concealing a document in a federal investigation; one count of scheme to conceal; and one count of false statements and representations.
Nauta was also indicted on six counts, including concealing a document in a federal investigation, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements and representations.
The 45th president pleaded not guilty on the charges at his June 13 arraignment, and he is expected to begin his criminal trial in August. On July 6, Nauta also pleaded not guilty.
Here is everything to know about Trump's valet Walt Nauta and the allegations against him.
He was born in and grew up in Guam
Nauta was born Waltine Torre Nauta and raised in the village of Agat, Guam, which has a population of about 4,515, according to The Washington Post. He was one of six siblings, with his aunt Elly Nauta telling the outlet he was always a "good boy" and "family-oriented."
He enlisted in the Navy in 2001, serving as a culinary specialist. Elly said that she believes he enlisted in the military "to see the world" and that he didn't return to Guam often once he left.
He served as former President Trump's military valet
Nauta worked as President Trump's military valet, akin to a personal assistant.
"The role has changed," White House historian Sam Childers told The Washington Post. "Initially, it was pretty much laying out the clothing. Now it can be a kind of body man — they can carry the Altoid mints and the Sharpie pen."
Nauta was often responsible for fetching the then-President Diet Cokes and other small tasks and errands, with one former Trump senior adviser saying that Nauta would also pick up dry cleaning and shadow Trump on golf courses.
The adviser described Nauta as "very sheepish," quiet and often "formal" and "stoic," adding, "He's willing to do whatever; he's a valet. The valet world has never left him."
Trump left office around the same time that Nauta left the military, at which point Nauta began working for the former president as a civilian, The Atlantic reported.
He faces six criminal charges and up to two decades in prison
Nauta was indicted on six federal offenses, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements and concealing documents, with a potential sentence of up to 90 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
According to the New York Times, the unsealed indictment alleged that before Trump's attorney M. Evan Corcoran could look for or sort through any potential classified material at the resort, Nauta allegedly removed 64 boxes from a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and only returned 30 boxes, leaving 34 boxes unaccounted for. The day Corcoran and prosecutors met to go over the material, the indictment states, Nauta and several other individuals "loaded several of Trump’s boxes with other items on aircraft that flew Trump and his family north for the summer."
The indictment claims that Nauta also moved boxes several times between November 2021 and January 2022 at Trump's instruction so that Trump could sort through their contents before they were returned. Nauta and other Trump aides reportedly touched base via text message, with Nauta allegedly photographing boxes that had fallen over and spilled out papers, including at least one secret document pertaining to the "Five Eyes" program (the United States' intelligence agreement with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Nauta is reportedly also visible on security camera footage removing boxes from Mar-a-Lago before investigators could search for classified materials at the West Palm Beach, Florida, property.
Nauta is accused of telling investigators initially that he was "not aware of Trump’s boxes being brought to Trump’s residence for his review," a statement prosecutors found to be false.
His family was stunned by the indictment
Nauta's family, who still reside in Guam, told the media that Nauta's indictment shocked them.
His aunt Elly told The Washington Post in March 2023 that anything Nauta may have allegedly done with the documents was at the direction of former President Trump.
"He told his mom there's nothing to worry about," Elly said. "He didn't do anything wrong. All he was instructed was to put the boxes where they were supposed to go."
Nauta's mother, Pauline Torre, didn't comment on the allegations but offered, "If he got selected — out of how many people — to serve the president, that says it all."
Trump praised his loyalty
When asked about Nauta's alleged involvement in the classified documents case, a representative for the former president didn't comment on the accusations directly but did praise Nauta's service.
"Mr. Nauta's talent, unmatched experience, and consummate professionalism has made him an invaluable part of the team," Trump's spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement to The Washington Post. "As a veteran of the U.S. military, he has served his country with distinction and upholds the values we all aspire to have. There is no other person who is more uniquely qualified to handle this job than Mr. Nauta."
On his Truth Social platform (via CNN), Trump previously called Nauta "strong, brave and a great patriot."
He pleaded not guilty in the Mar-a-Lago documents case on July 6
Though Nauta was present in the Miami courthouse when Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 charges on June 13, the former White House valet's arraignment was postponed to June 27 as he hadn't hired a lawyer who could practice in Florida.
On June 27, Nauta's arraignment was delayed again without a plea as he still hadn't hired Florida counsel. Two weeks later, Nauta appeared in person in a Miami courtroom and pleaded not guilty in the ongoing classified documents case via his attorney
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