Walt Nauta, the adviser to Donald Trump who is accused of helping the disgraced ex-president hide confidential documents from the government he once led, has the judge overseeing the criminal case against him and Mr Trump , asked to postpone a routine hearing to discuss how the court plans to handle the confidential information prosecutors are expected to produce in the case.
In a motion to postpone a pre-trial conference on Classified Information Procedures Act matters scheduled for Friday, July 14, Mr. Nauta’s attorney, Stanley Woodward, writes that the hearing should be postponed because he is due to a hearing commitment in Washington, DC is available.
Mr. Woodward alleges that he has not yet been able to appeal the previously scheduled hearing because Mr. Nauta did not have an attorney present until shortly before his arraignment on July 5, 2023, despite being charged nearly a month earlier, on June 8 was.
“Mr. Nauta respectfully asks the court to resume the CIPA conference on July 14, 2023 at a mutually convenient date,” he said.
Although Mr. Nauta has since hired local counsel, Mr. Woodward argued that conducting the hearing would harm his client as he would not be able to attend.
He also claimed that he was unable to provide a “proper opinion” on requests or plans for disclosure related to classified information because he had not yet been granted security clearance.
“It is also not possible to expect Mr. Nauta’s local attorney to appear at a pre-trial CIPA conference barely a week after she was hired by Mr. Nauta and to agree on ‘a discovery and filing plan in relation to confidential information’.” Accordingly, proceeding with the CIPA pre-trial conference will not harm the court, the government, or the public interest, but rather will save the judiciary’s time, cost, and resources while the parties allow the security clearance process to proceed,” he added added.
In response, prosecutors said in a separate filing that Mr Nauta’s file did not specify when Mr Woodward would be available, nor did it explain why his on-site attorney, Sasha Dadan, would be unable to provide his To represent interests at the July 14 hearing.
“An indefinite continuation is unnecessary, leads to additional delays in this case and is contrary to the public interest. Therefore, the government is denying this request,” said Jay Bratt, the veteran national security attorney who works for Special Counsel Jack Smith.
Mr. Bratt and his co-counsel added that the July 14 hearing was “a crucial step in this prosecution” as it will impact the overall timeline of the remainder of the trial against Mr. Nauta and Mr. Trump.
“Nearly a month has passed since the grand jury returned its indictment. “There is a strong public interest for the conference to go ahead as originally planned and for the case to move forward as expeditiously as possible,” they said, later adding that “none of Nautas’ justifications for his request were presented.”” was “persuasive” because the court ruled that Ms Dadan must be “willing” to represent him “at any time appropriate” and because Mr Nauta’s request for a stay “does not indicate any alternative steps Mr Woodward might take” at the attend the hearing if he deems his presence necessary.”
Prosecutors also noted that Mr. Woodward and Ms. Dadan’s attendance at the hearing was in no way “contingent on the availability of security clearance,” noting that Mr. Woodward has yet to file any filings after more than a month of the proceedings have, which are necessary for obtaining a release.
“As part of the CIPA pre-conference on Section 2 and its continuation motion, the government … requests that the court set firm dates for the efficient handling of this case. “Delaying the CIPA Section 2 Hearing by at least a few weeks without a convincing justification is contrary to that objective and the public interest,” they said.
The matter is now in the hands of Judge Aileen Cannon, who as of late Monday had not made a decision on Mr Nauta’s motion.
Mr Trump and Mr Nauta also have until close of business Monday to appeal a government request to postpone their trial to December 11 this year.