Ex-prosecutor: Walt Nauta can’t find a lawyer because Trump wants someone he “can control”

Donald Trump’s personal valet Walt Nauta is struggling to secure legal representation amid his indictment in the former president’s mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Though Trump was arraigned last month on 37 felony counts in the Mar-a-Lago documents case, Nauta, his co-defendant accused of helping him obstruct government efforts to recover the classified documents, has repeatedly had his arrangement postponed due to difficulty finding a Florida attorney.

Tim Jansen, a former federal prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney, told CNN that he thinks Nauta’s plight is “a combination of maybe someone trying to pick the lawyer they can control rather than getting an independent lawyer who is willing to represent Nauta and represent Nauta’s best interests.”

“My understanding is that he’s going to be paid by PAC money. It’s going to be difficult to get a lawyer,” Jansen said. “Some lawyers won’t take the case because of the — you know, the animosity on certain figures in the case. Some law firms won’t allow their partners to represent anybody that could be damaging to their reputation or conflict with their current clients . But there were plenty of Florida lawyers who were members of the Southern District who could represent him very competently.”

Jansen described Nauta’s situation as a “difficult” one, adding that “Nauta is not the key figure in this case.”

“He’s a lesser figure by many standards. He’s very allegiant to the president. He’s former military. He probably has his own strong beliefs. He’s going to have to — whatever PAC, and who is deciding who hires the lawyer?” Jansen asked. “Is Nauta picking his lawyer, or is the PAC picking the lawyer? That’s the problem. If you get in a case where fees are paid by a third party, you need to make sure that that third party understands — I’m representing him, and I will always represent that person. If we diverge, you understand, as a lawyer, my interests are his interests.”

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Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe noted on a recent podcast that despite the fact that Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon has set a trial date for August, the former president is trying to push the trial until after the 2024 presidential election.

“I think he’ll make that motion eventually, but we haven’t seen it yet,” McCabe said, according to Raw Story.

McCabe’s co-host Allison Gill noted that two weeks after he was set to be arraigned, Nauta “still doesn’t have Florida counsel to sponsor his lawyer Stanley Woodward.”

“Yeah, it’s ridiculous,” McCabe replied. “You can hear me laughing over here. The guy has had two weeks. He had his first non-arraignment on June 13. And then he was supposed to come back two weeks later with an attorney in Florida. They have attorneys in Florida. I’ve been to Florida, and I’ve seen attorneys advertising all over the highway.All he needs to do is call one of those dudes, bring him in for the purpose of admitting his real attorney, which is just to support what’s called the pro hac vice motion, which is when your real attorney is from a different state. You have to have an attorney from the state where the trial is happening before the court and say, ‘I nominate this guy. Real attorney to be admitted to this Bar, in this case, Florida, pro hac vice just for the purpose of this case.'”

Gill asserted that Trump’s “only defense” was to delay the proceedings, wondering why “they don’t just appoint a public defender and use that.”

“It just seems like Trump is trying to use the fact that Nauta doesn’t have counsel to delay the CIPA hearing,” she continued. “That’s the only thing I can come up with. This is just — it seems ridiculous, and I don’t understand why any of these magistrate judges are not just appointing a public defender to sponsor Stanley Woodward pro right vice, so they can get this ball rolling. But we know, and Trump knows, that the longer this goes on, the more reasonable it is for him to ask for a delay for after the election.”

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