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Judge Orders Unsealing of Testimony in Trump Documents Case

Trump (Credits: EL PAÍS English)

The Florida judge presiding over former President Donald Trump’s trial concerning classified documents has ordered the public release of a co-defendant’s grand jury testimony.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon instructed Walt Nauta, a former Mar-a-Lago valet driver, to disclose the transcript of his June 2022 grand jury testimony by April 24, as reported by Newsweek. However, the transcript must undergo redaction to safeguard the identities of trial witnesses.

Donald Trump (Credits: CBC)

Additionally, Judge Cannon directed special counsel Jack Smith’s team to submit a sealed status report by April 26, outlining the scope of grand jury materials and proceedings relevant to the case.

Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira face charges related to impeding government efforts to retrieve classified materials from Trump’s property, as per The Washington Post.

While media attention largely focused on Judge Cannon’s denial of Nauta and De Oliveira’s dismissal requests, she emphasized that any challenges to the special counsel’s evidence could be addressed during the trial.

Despite their plea of not guilty, Nauta and De Oliveira contend that they were unaware the boxes they handled for Trump contained classified materials, as reported by The New York Times.

Donald J Trump (Credits: WHYY)

Trump, who faces 40 charges related to the alleged retention of classified documents after leaving office and obstructing federal authorities, has also pleaded not guilty. While the trial’s start date remains uncertain, Judge Cannon is expected to postpone it beyond the tentative date of May 20.

The special counsel aims for a July trial, preceding the presidential election, while Trump’s legal team suggests a potential August start date, as required by a court order. Additionally, Trump’s lawyers argue that the trial should be deferred until 2025.

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