Walt Nauta, a former aide to Donald Trump, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a multiple-count indictment related to Trump’s mishandling of classified national defense information at his residence in Mar-a-Lago.

Nauta served as a valet at Trump’s White House, leaving in 2020 to follow the former president and assist him with personal tasks. While reviewing surveillance footage of the Mar-a-Lago home, special counsel Jack Smith‘s team saw Nauta moving boxes that held classified documents around the property, and loading a few on a plane that was heading for Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Nauta was indicted on the same day as Trump, and the two have been instructed to cut off all contact with each other. However, Nauta accompanied Trump last week on a political appearance in Philadelphia, where the men were photographed ordering food together.

Like Trump, Nauta pleaded not guilty to all charges. He has remained silent since his indictment in June, though Trump has been quite vocal on social media. The former president has defended his aide and has been pushing the false narrative that the Department of Justice’s investigation was corrupt.

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Despite their friendship, it is possible that Trump and Nauta may end up throwing each other under the bus. One may decide to divulge information in exchange for leniency from prosecutors, although there is no indication that the two have turned on each other yet.

Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge presiding over the case, has ruled that the trials could begin as early as August 14. However, prosecutors have moved to push this date back until December, as introducing the national defense documents as evidence requires a plan to ensure that they remain confidential.

Trump is currently the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 presidential election. Many legal and political experts have raised questions about whether Trump would be able to pardon himself, and Nauta, should he be elected.

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