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New Trump co-defendant’s plea delayed as he seeks Florida lawyer

Carlos De Oliveira (L), personal aide to former US President Donald Trump, arrives at the James L. King Federal Courthouse in Miami, Florida, on July 31, 2023.

Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images

Carlos De Oliveira — the new co-defendant in the Trump classified documents criminal case — appeared in Miami federal court Monday morning, but had the entry of his plea postponed to give him time to hire a local Florida lawyer.

De Oliveira was ordered free on a $100,000 signature bond by Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres at the brief hearing after Torres read out the four charges facing the defendant.

De Oliveira, who worked in maintenance at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, is charged with participating in a cover-up effort with Trump and Trump valet Walt Nauta, to hide surveillance video evidence that showed boxes of classified documents were being moved around the club.

De Oliveira’s failure so far to get a Florida lawyer mirrors the difficulties that Trump had hiring a local attorney for the case. Nauta had his arraignment twice postponed because of the same issue.

The DOJ’s indictment includes photos of classified documents found at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence.

Source: DOJ

Courts as a rule insist that parties in criminal and civil cases be represented by lawyers who are licensed to practice in the state where the case was brought. Out-of-state attorneys can, however, take the lead on representing a party in a case if they have a local attorney’s cooperation.

De Oliveira’s lawyer John Irving, whose office is in Washington, D.C., was allowed to represent him Monday for the initial appearance.

“We are in the process of ascertaining local counsel,” Irvin told Torres.

The judge ordered De Oliveira to next appear on Aug. 10 in federal court in Fort Pierce. He also told De Oliveira not to have contact with witnesses in the case.

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DeOliveira was accused in an indictment last week of telling a Mar-a-Lago co-worker that Trump — “the boss” — wanted surveillance video from the club deleted after a federal grand jury had issued a subpoena for the video.

He also is charged with lying in an interview with the FBI, when he denied participating with Nauta in moving boxes of documents, which were being sought by the U.S. government.

Trump and Nauta previously pleaded not guilty.

Trump is the main defendant in the case, accused of dozens of criminal counts related to his retention of classified government records after leaving the White House in January 2021.

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