Former US President Donald Trump and his aide, Walt Nauta, entered pleas of not guilty on Thursday to additional charges related to the mishandling of classified documents. These charges were added to the 37 felony counts that Trump already faces for allegedly mishandling files from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
In addition to Trump and Nauta, another Trump employee named Carlos de Oliveira was also charged. They are accused of obstructing the federal government’s efforts to retrieve the documents by conspiring to delete security camera footage from the system monitoring Trump’s Palm Beach home. The deletion allegedly occurred after the government issued a subpoena for the footage. De Oliveira is expected to enter a plea once he secures a Florida lawyer.
Trump also pleaded not guilty to a violation of the Espionage Act. This charge stems from allegations that he showed a classified national security document to visitors at his Bedminster, New Jersey country club. The document supposedly contained the Pentagon’s plan for attacking Iran.
Audio of the former president seemingly discussing the “highly confidential” military secrets was released in June, contradicting Trump’s previous claims that he was referring to publicly-available information at the club and did not possess the battle plan at the time. This audio was released following the initial indictment related to the mishandling of classified documents.
With the filing of the initial charges in June, Trump became the first former US president ever to be federally indicted. He was indicted again last week on four counts of conspiracy related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump is also facing charges in a Manhattan court for alleged payment of hush money to a porn star in 2016.
There is reportedly another pending indictment against Trump, this time in the state of Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been working to indict Trump for election interference, based on a phone call he made to the Georgia Secretary of State after Election Day 2020 and an unexecuted plan to create an alternate slate of electors for the state. A grand jury is expected to consider potential charges by the end of next week.
Despite facing multiple indictments, Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges, dismissing them as part of a “witch hunt” by a “tyrannical” Democratic Party. These indictments have not affected his performance in polling for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Although he remains neck-to-neck with incumbent Joe Biden in recent hypothetical matchups.
The legal battles continue to mount for Trump, as he faces allegations of mishandling classified documents, election interference, and payment of hush money. These charges carry significant consequences and may shape Trump’s future in politics. The outcome of these legal proceedings will have implications not only for Trump but also for the future of the Republican Party.