Trump aide Walt Nauta is finally arraigned, so case can get moving

0 74
trump-aide-walt-nauta-is-finally-arraigned,-so-case-can-get-moving
Connect with us

Congratulations, Walt Nauta. You have a new lawyer. Now the case can proceed.

After multiple delays, Donald Trump’s co-defendant was finally arraigned Thursday in Florida federal court, where he pleaded not guilty to helping the former president cover up his allegedly illegal retention of classified documents. (Nauta’s lawyer, Stan Woodward, entered the plea on the Trump aide’s behalf.) Trump already pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last month.

The holdup until now was Nauta’s failure to secure a lawyer who is admitted to practice in the Southern District of Florida, where he and Trump are charged. Nauta already had Woodward, who wasn’t admitted in that district. But his newly hired lawyer, Sasha Dadan, is a former state public defender in Florida who, according to her website, is licensed in that district.

Dadan unsuccessfully ran for Florida’s House of Representatives in 2018, losing the Republican primary. Her profile does not list any experience with litigation related to national security. The classified information at issue in this case comes with special procedures with which special counsel Jack Smith’s team has experience.

Nauta’s failure to be arraigned until now, almost a month after he and Trump were indicted, has already created a potential mini-delay of sorts.

Nauta’s failure to be arraigned until now, almost a month after he and Trump were indicted, has already created a potential mini-delay of sorts. We may soon learn how much of a delay, if any, the defense has actually won, based on how Judge Aileen Cannon moves forward.

One pending issue is the trial date. Smith asked for a December start for jury selection. The defense response to Smith’s date request was going to be due Thursday, until Nauta’s arraignment got pushed back to that day. So Cannon then pushed the deadline for the defense response to July 10.

We’ll see what the defense says about timing and, more importantly, how Cannon responds. Remember, the Trump-appointed judge initially set an August trial date but, as I noted at the time, the trial was never going to start then. Rather, Smith’s December request is probably the earliest realistic date — and even that is far from guaranteed.

Keep in mind, too, that a new lawyer entering a case can be cause for further delay if they need to get up to speed. We’ll see how Nauta’s defense team plays that as well, and how Cannon responds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *