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Trump's co-defendants arraigned after additional charges filed

Although Trump was not in attendance, his two co-defendants in a classified documents case faced a judge on Thursday.
Trump not expected to appear at Thursday arraignment
Posted at 5:18 AM, Aug 10, 2023

Former President Donald Trump waived his right to appear at an arraignment on Thursday after facing new charges in a case alleging he mishandled classified documents after leaving the White House. 

On July 27, Trump was charged with obstruction and willful retention of national defense information, in addition to previous charges he faces. A third individual, identified in court documents as Carlos De Oliveira, was also charged on July 27 as a defendant in the case, alongside Trump and his personal aide Walt Nauta.

Trump entered a not-guilty plea in response to the new charges. Nauta also entered a not guilty plea on Thursday. De Oliveira's case was pushed back as he did not have local counsel for Thursday's hearing. Because of that, he was unable to enter a plea. 

De Oliviera is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice; altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing an object; corruptly altering, destroying, mutilating or concealing a document, record or other object; and false statements or representations. 

SEE MORE: Federal prosecutors executed search warrant on Trump's Twitter account

In the indictment, prosecutors allege De Oliviera held discussions with another Trump employee, saying that "the boss" wanted stored archives of surveillance footage to be deleted.

The indictment states that "Trump, Nauta and De Oliviera requested that Trump Employee 4 delete security camera footage at the Mar-a-Lago Club to prevent the footage from being provided to a federal grand jury." 

Trump's lawyers have recently motioned to classified documents that could become evidence near one of Trump's residences. Prosecutors say the documents should be reviewed at a more secure location away from Trump's residences in New Jersey and Florida. 

"Well, of course, they want it to be more convenient, more accessible, they want to spend less time, I guess traveling, but I would think the judge is going to sort of move this on the side of protecting the documents in the process because we know one thing there are clearly documents in there that are considered classified that has security implications," said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. 

The hearing comes a week after Trump was indicted and arraigned in a case involving his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. In that case, Trump was the only person criminally charged, despite several of his associates being named as unindicted co-conspirators. 

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