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
The scheduled arraignment Monday morning of Carlos De Oliveira — the new co-defendant in the Trump classified documents criminal case — is up in the air because he has not yet gotten a lawyer who practices in Florida to represent him.
Without a Florida lawyer present, a judge could delay De Oliveira’s scheduled arraignment in Miami federal court, the defendant’s out-of-state attorney, John Irving, told NBC News Sunday.
De Oliveira nonetheless showed up at Miami federal court Monday for his first appearance in the case since being indicted last week.
His failure so far to get a Florida lawyer mirrors the difficulties former President Donald Trump briefly had hiring a local attorney for the case. The third co-defendant, Trump valet Walt 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.
“We’re working on ascertaining local counsel,” said Irving.
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, who worked in maintenance at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, is charged with participating in a cover-up effort with Trump and Nauta to hide surveillance video evidence that showed boxes of classified documents were being moved around the club.
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.