Trump aide’s lawyer may have conflicts of interest in documents case, prosecutors say

By Jack Queen

(Reuters) – Prosecutors who charged Donald Trump and two aides with mishandling classified documents asked a judge on Wednesday for a hearing over potential conflicts of interest with one of the men’s lawyers.

Stanley Woodward, a lawyer for Trump aide Walt Nauta, has represented or is currently representing three people who might be called as witnesses in the case, Florida federal prosecutors said in a filing, which does not identify the potential witnesses.

Woodward declined to comment Wednesday.

The filing is the latest wrinkle in a case that has been complicated by the defendants’ difficulties finding lawyers and disputes over how the hundreds of classified documents will be handled.

Trump and Nauta were hit with additional charges in a new indictment filed in Miami on July 27, which also added the property manager of the former U.S. president’s Mar-a-Lago resort, Carlos De Oliveira, as a defendant.

Trump is accused of taking troves of classified documents with him upon leaving the White House in 2021 and storing them haphazardly at Mar-a-Lago. Nauta and Oliveira are accused of helping him try to hide the documents from investigators seeking their return.

Trump and Nauta have pleaded not guilty. Trump has said the case and others against him are politically motivated “witch hunts.”

Nauta entered his plea on July 6 at an arraignment that was delayed twice because he did not initially have a lawyer licensed to practice in Florida.

De Oliveira was also unable to find a local lawyer in time for his first court appearance on Monday. His arraignment is set for Aug. 10.

Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers have asked for permission to review troves of top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago rather than an ultra-secure room known as a “sensitive compartmented information facility,” or SCIF.

Prosecutors said in a July 27 filing that they are not aware of any case where a defendant was granted permission to review classified documents at home. Such “exceptional treatment” would not be appropriate, they argued.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that forcing them to only review and discuss classified documents in a secure location would be too inconvenient.

(Reporting by Jack Queen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)