Judge in Documents Case Rejects Dismissal Motions by Trump Co-Defendants

The federal judge overseeing former President Donald J. Trump’s classified documents case on Thursday denied initial attempts by Mr. Trump’s two co-defendants to have the charges against them dismissed.

The ruling by the judge, Aileen M. Cannon, was the first time she had rejected dismissal motions by the two men, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, both of whom work for Mr. Trump at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida.

Prosecutors in the office of the special counsel, Jack Smith, say that Mr. Nauta, one of Mr. Trump’s closest personal aides, and Mr. De Oliveira, the property manager of Mar-a-Lago, conspired with the former president to hide from the government boxes of classified materials that Mr. Trump had removed from the White House, and then took part in a related plot to destroy security camera footage of the boxes being moved. The men have also been charged with lying to investigators working on the case.

At a hearing last week in Federal District Court in Fort Pierce, Fla., lawyers for the two men tried to convince Judge Cannon that their clients had no idea that the boxes they had moved on Mr. Trump’s behalf contained classified materials. The lawyers also said they needed more details about the evidence against the men than what was contained in the 53-page superseding indictment.

Mr. Nauta’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward Jr., raised an additional claim: that the obstruction statute his client was charged with violating was unconstitutionally vague.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard somewhat similar arguments about that law, which has been used not only against hundreds of pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but also against Mr. Trump himself in both the classified documents case and the federal case in which he stands accused of plotting to overturn the 2020 election.

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