Trump pleads not guilty to new classified documents charges, waives arraignment appearance

Former president Donald Trump arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. on Thursday, August 3, 2023 after appearing at E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House. 

Tom Brenner | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump on Friday pleaded not guilty and waived his personal appearance for an arraignment on a superseding indictment in his classified documents criminal case in Florida.

Trump entered his plea and waiver in a filing in federal court, where the new indictment issued July 27 added charges for an alleged effort to destroy surveillance video of efforts to hide hundreds of classified government records he kept at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.

Trump was charged in the original indictment with retaining those records after leaving the White House and conspiring to prevent their return to U.S. officials. Those counts remain in effect.

Trump and his valet, Walt Nauta, a co-defendant in the case, were due to be arraigned on the new charges on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce, Florida.

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Nauta so far has not submitted a court filing entering a plea, or waiving his right to appear in person on the superseding indictment, which accuses him and a third defendant, Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker Carlos de Oliveira, of conspiracy in the effort to delete the surveillance footage.

Because Trump and Nauta previously were arraigned in person on the original indictment, they have the right to waive appearing personally for arraignment on the superseding charging document.

Trump on Thursday pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Washington, D.C., federal court in a separate case where he is charged with four felonies related to his effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

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