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Trumps co-defendants in classified documents case seeking to have charges dropped

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(NEW YORK) — The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case is hearing arguments Friday from his co-defendants Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira on motions to have the charges against them dismissed.

Attorneys for Nauta, Trump’s longtime aide, will ask U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to dismiss the case based on unconstitutional vagueness.

Nauta and De Oliveira, the property manager at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, pleaded not guilty last August, along with Trump, to obstruction charges related to alleged attempts to delete Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage, after Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House.

“Because the indictment fails to allege that Mr. Nauta acted corruptly in any of the conduct as alleged in the indictment, Counts 33, 34, 35, 40, and 41 must be dismissed,” Nauta’s attorney Stanley Woodward said in a filing. “Otherwise, ‘corruptly’ as required under the applicable statutes and as applied to Mr. Nauta is void for vagueness.”

De Oliveira is also asking Cannon to dismiss the charges against him.

Nauta is also charged with lying to the FBI in May of 2022 when he told agents that that he was unaware of boxes being brought to Trump’s residence and said he didn’t know where they had been stored before they were taken there. A transcript of that interview was made public on the court’s docket Friday morning.

Friday’s hearing comes one week after Cannon denied one of Trump’s requests to have the documents case dismissed based on the Presidential Records Act.

Trump’s attorneys had argued, as part of multiple motions to dismiss, that Trump should have been able to have custody of the documents in question and declare them as personal records, even after he was president, due to the Presidential Records Act.

Judge Cannon is expected to delay the start of the trial, currently on the public docket for May 20, following recent arguments from both the defense and the special counsel.

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