Special Counsel Jack Smith Attempts to Boot Mar-a-Lago Lawyer from Trial, Claiming 'Divided Loyalties'


Special counsel Jack Smith is seeking to disqualify an attorney representing a Donald Trump ally who faces charges along with the former president in the Justice Department’s classified documents case.

Walt Nauta, a Trump employee who was charged with crimes related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, is being represented by attorney Stanley Woodward.

The DOJ has asked for a hearing with U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, claiming Woodward might have conflicts of interest in the case, Axios reported.

In a Wednesday legal filing, the department said Woodward “has represented at least seven other individuals who have been questioned in connection with the investigation.”

According to Axios, Woodward is representing two other Trump employees and has advised another who the DOJ believes has information that could “incriminate” Nauta.

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“All three of these witnesses may be witnesses for the government at trial, raising the possibility that Mr. Woodward might be in the position of cross-examining past or current clients,” the filing states.

The DOJ argued that a hearing in regard to disqualifying Woodward is “appropriate given that an attorney who cross-examines a former or present client inherently encounters divided loyalties.”

It is not known if Cannon will hear the government’s case on the matter.

Nauta, Trump’s valet, was charged alongside Trump in June. Last week, the DOJ announced new charges against them and Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira.

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De Oliveira and Nauta reportedly moved boxes at Mar-a-Lago last summer. The DOJ has also accused the men of asking another worker to delete security footage so that a federal grand jury could not see it.

De Oliveira faces four charges, including making false statements and conspiracy to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported. Nauta now faces six similar charges, according to another Axios report.

Nauta has pleaded not guilty, while De Oliveira has not yet entered a plea.

Trump was initially charged with 37 counts in the case, but that was upped to 40 last week.

He is accused of willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and various crimes related to the mishandling of classified documents.

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He has pleaded not guilty.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.