Judge declines to throw out charges against Trump valet in classified documents case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal judge presiding over the classified documents case against Donald Trump refused Saturday to throw out charges against a co-defendant of the former president.

Lawyers for Walt Nauta, Trump's personal valet, had asked U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to dismiss the indictment against their client. They argued, among other things, that Nauta was charged because of insufficient cooperation with prosecutors' investigation and because of a personal animus that they say prosecutors harbored against one of Nauta's attorneys.

Special counsel Jack Smith's team has denied all the claims, and Cannon in her four-page order Saturday said Nauta had not met the high bar required to get the case dismissed.

Nauta and another co-defendant, Mar-a-Lago property manager, Carlos De Oliveira, are accused of conspiring with Trump to conceal evidence from investigators as they sought to recover classified documents that were taken to the Palm Beach, Florida property after Trump's presidency ended.

All three men have pleaded not guilty.

No trial date has been set in the case. Trump has also sought to dismiss the case, and Cannon pointedly noted at the conclusion of her order: “This Order shall not be construed as commenting on the merits of Defendant Trump’s Motion to Dismiss the Indictment Based on Selective and Vindictive Prosecution or on any other motion pending before the Court.”