Two lawyers from former US President Donald Trump’s defense team resigned in the case of mishandling classified documents, while a former White House aide was charged, one day after Trump was charged with federal charges.
Trump said on his “Social Truth” platform that charges had been brought against his former military aide, Walt Nauta, in the case of classified documents.
Naota worked for Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the classified documents were found, after his tenure in the White House during the former president’s term ended.
It was not clear what the charges against the former aide to President Trump were, and Naota’s lawyer declined to comment.
Trump’s announcement came after his attorneys, John Rowley and Jim Trusty, announced their resignation for reasons that were not immediately clear.
“This morning we tendered our resignations as advisors to President Trump,” the two lawyers said in a statement. “It has been an honor to defend him, and we know he will be acquitted.”
The criminal case, brought by the US Department of Justice, is another legal setback for Trump as he seeks to re-elect the presidency next year. Trump is already facing a criminal case in New York, which is due to be heard in March.
The indictment is still kept secret, and even Trump himself has not yet seen what is in it. A source told Reuters that Trump’s legal team had been informed of the charges as part of a subpoena ordering the former president to appear in court on Tuesday in Miami.
Trusty said in a previous interview with CNN that the charges include conspiracy, making false statements, obstruction of justice and illegally keeping classified documents under the Espionage Act.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Trump mishandled classified documents he kept after leaving the White House in 2021. Part of the investigation also looked at whether Trump or others sought to obstruct the government’s investigation.
Almost a year ago, investigators seized about 13,000 documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. And 100 of those documents are classified as confidential.
Trump previously defended his retention of the documents, noting that he had declassified them while he was president. But he did not provide evidence for this and his lawyers refused to present this argument in court documents.