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Published on April 12, 2024
Trump Associates Seek Dismissal in Mar-a-Lago Classified Documents Case, Arguing Lack of EvidenceSource: Wikipedia/Jud McCranie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Two associates of former President Donald Trump, Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, are pushing for dismissal of the charges against them in the case involving classified documents found at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, with their lawyers arguing in court on Friday that there's a lack of evidence tying them to the knowing obstruction of an FBI investigation, WSVN reports.

The valet and property manager have entered not guilty pleas, and their legal counsel brought their case before U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, in opposition by special counsel Jack Smith, defending the idea that Nauta and De Oliveira were implicated in a scheme with Trump to disrupt governmental recovery efforts for the sensitive documents, complicating the matter further, it's still up in the air when Cannon may make a ruling. Meanwhile, prosecutors purport that Nauta in 2022 relocated numerous boxes to thwart their return to governmental hands and that both he and De Oliveira aimed to eliminate footage that might detail such actions, sought by the FBI, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Defense attorneys counter that there is no claim of either man knowing the contents of the boxes. "The Superseding Indictment does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira ever saw a classified document. It does not allege that Mr. De Oliveira was aware of the presence of any classified documents in the boxes that he moved," the lawyers stated in court documents, as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

On another front, Trump, who holds the unofficial title of the GOP's lead for the coming election, has lodged multiple motions to have his own charges dropped, which Judge Cannon denied, these included an argument against the Espionage Act for vagueness and another under the Presidential Records Act claiming rights to the files as personal property post-presidency after his defeat in 2020 to Joe Biden, these rejections leave Trump in a continued battle to clear his name as his associates now strive to clear theirs.