Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago mess keeps getting messier.
Federal investigators want to speak with two top Trump aides about the 100+ classified documents the FBI recovered from the ex-president’s home back in August. But they’ve raised the stakes by making it clear charges are on the table should the guys choose not to cooperate.
First, the DOJ want to talk to Walt Nauta, the former White House “Diet Coke valet”/Trump loyalist caught on CCTV footage moving several boxes of classified government documents at the ex-president’s Florida compound.
39-year-old Nauta was already interviewed by investigators twice before about the alleged mishandling of the records. Now, they want to speak with him a third time after finding some inconsistencies in his story.
Per The New York Times:
Investigators have interviewed Mr. Nauta at least twice and are skeptical that he was frank with them about his role in moving the boxes. The authorities did not show him the video footage during the interviews, according to two of the people familiar with the matter. But at one point he gave an answer that investigators found contradictory to one he had provided earlier.
Prosecutors have reportedly informed Nauta that they are considering filing charges against him, including unlawful retention of national defense information and obstruction of justice. If found guilty, he could spend decades in prison.
Walt Nauta is going to be famous.
— News Junky (@LaResistance01) October 13, 2022
The other person the feds want to chat with is longtime Trump aide/children’s book author Kash Patel, whose self-published picture book The Plot Against the King is about the false claims of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
Per The New York Times:
Shortly after the F.B.I. executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in August to reclaim the classified documents, Mr. Patel publicly proclaimed that the former president had declassified the records before leaving office. But Mr. Patel refused to answer many questions this month before a grand jury in Washington hearing evidence about Mr. Trump’s handling of the documents, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to a person briefed on the matter.
In response, prosecutors asked a top federal judge in Washington to force Mr. Patel to testify–a move fought by Mr. Patel’s lawyers, who are concerned the government wants to use Mr. Patel’s own statements to incriminate him.
There’s more truth in Kash Patel’s Children’s book “The Plot Against The King” than in anything you read in rags like NYT and WaPo.
Support Kash & get your kiddos a copy of his book! https://t.co/R7Nli1aJB4
Our events are FULL of kids. I think we’ll be doing a reading soon! pic.twitter.com/1x1QTpeVSz
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) May 18, 2022
Per Axois, the DOJ prosecutor overseeing the whole thing is a man named Jay Bratt, who “has built his career going after convicted spies, Blackwater guards, Chinese companies and some of Trump’s close associates” and currently leads the Justice Department’s counterintelligence division.
Bratt is also chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, which enforces laws surrounding export controls and sanctions, national security, cybersecurity and espionage.
In other words: He’s not somebody anyone wants to f*ck with. And if Nauta and Patel are smart–which, let’s be honest, the jury is still out on that–they’ll start cooperating and telling the truth.
Now, some tweets…
BREAKING: DOJ believes Walt Nauta—little known figure who worked for Trump both in the WH and at MAL and was responsible for bringing him his frequent Diet Cokes—misled prosecutors about moving boxes and is using specter of criminal charges to compel him to testify.
— Andrew Wortman ?????? (@AmoneyResists) October 24, 2022
Jay Bratt just may be the Nightmare Lawyer that Will Guarantee trump will be sporting New Line of 3XL Orange Jumpsuit
— Sherrie Lee Fox (@slfox48) October 24, 2022
Kash Patel, Trump's disinformation wizard, finds out he is now a target of the Federal investigation in Mar-a-Lago. pic.twitter.com/GVYjm51Qtc
— Rick Ocean ???? Support Ukraine, Save Europe (@RickOceanMusic) October 21, 2022
“Walt Nauta? Never heard of him. Must have been a coffee boy…” – Trump tomorrow
— GM ?? (@WasOnceLou) October 13, 2022
They were both errand boys that brought these documents to Trump. This was a chance for them to either fess up or go down with the ship.
— max andrews (@madmaxbr5) October 25, 2022
Jay Bratt is taking on a case with a million witnesses and a ton of evidence! An acquittal would be a ''TRAVESTY'' and the end of anything left of American justice!
— STOLEN DOCUMENTS SHOW ''TREASON''! (@GFilms7) October 25, 2022
Walt Nauta, come on down. You’re the next contestant on the crime of a lifetime.
— K louie (@Silver_Coupe) October 25, 2022
Fuck around ?? ? ??????? ??????? . . . and find out. ?
— Mary L Trump (@MaryLTrump) October 20, 2022