Is Donald Trump really done for? They call him “Teflon Don” for a reason, so possibly not. Still, being federally indicted on 37 counts for allegedly mishandling classified government documents isn’t small potatoes. And he’s not the only one who may be going down: As per CNN (in a bit caught by Intelligencer), also indicted was Trump’s Diet Coke guy.
His name is Walt Nauta, and he’s one of the many underlings whose life has been put in jeopardy thanks to their association with the former president. The day after his latest indictment was made public, Trump took to his rinky-dink Twitter clone Friday to reveal that Natua, too, was facing indictment. (CNN later verified this as true.) Trump called Nauta a “wonderful man” who “served proudly with me in the White House” before transitioning to private life.
“They are trying to destroy his life, and the lives of so many others, hoping that he will say bad things about ‘Trump,’” he wrote, once again putting his name in quotation marks. “He is strong, brave, and a Great Patriot. The FBI and DOJ are CORRUPT!”
The unsealed DOJ document revealed that Nauta had been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations.
A Navy vet, Nauta worked his way up the Trump administration, starting as a White House cook only to become one of his valets. He gained notoriety for a very specific part of his job, as The Washington Post reported last year:
Not long after Trump took office, Nauta left the mess to become one of Trump’s valets, spending some of his workday in a small passageway that connects the West Wing to a private dining room. From there, he had access to a small refrigerator stocked with Diet Cokes, which he brought to the president in the Oval Office when Trump pressed a call button on his desk, said a former White House staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss activities inside the White House.
That Trump allegedly lives on Diet Coke, even having a Diet Coke button (since removed), means Nauta must have been very busy. He was also a gofer, fetching other, non-Diet Coke items and tidying things up in a place infamous for having key documents clog toilets.
Nauta was kept on the Trump payroll as part of his Save America PAC, but last summer he spoke to the FBI. At first he tried to protect his old boss, but the things changed, as per the Post:
When FBI agents first interviewed Nauta, he denied any role in moving boxes or sensitive documents, the people familiar with the situation said in interviews before Nauta’s name became public. But as investigators gathered more evidence, they questioned him a second time and he told a starkly different story — that Trump instructed him to move the boxes, these people said.
Trump appears to have forgiven Nauta for telling the feds the alleged truth; sources told CNN he was at Trump’s Bedminister, New Jersey club when he got the news of the indictment. It’s unclear if he still fetches him his Diet Cokes, but there’s a chance he might have to do that from the slammer.