Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

Trump In Florida Preparing For Arrest And Arraignment Today On 37 Criminal Charges; Indicted Aide Walt Nauta To Appear Alongside Trump. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired June 13, 2023 - 11:30   ET



NORM EISEN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: But now, we'll have a process that tests those charges. That answers those questions. Myself, as a longtime defense lawyer, I would demand discovery now. I know they'll do that. They're going to be looking for anything that's wrong.

There's an allegation of prosecutorial misconduct that a prosecutor raised a possible judgeship for a lawyer, for a witness. That is under review in the District of Columbia federal court. That is going to be an issue here.

We will see the search warrant attacked, was this an overbroad search? Can the key evidence of Trump's lawyer, Evan Corcoran still employed by Trump, devastating use of his notes over 50 pages -- dictated notes in the indictment? Can that be excluded by Judge Cannon, who will see this -- who will have this case? So, now your question is going to be tested and that is the way it should be in our rule of law system.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: You know, to that point really quickly. You know, there's no stronger day for a prosecution than the day the indictment comes out. You haven't seen any arguments. You haven't seen any legal challenges to anything that appears in it.

And to the point that Norm's making all of these are subject to being attacked over the course of the next several weeks. That's not saying that the whole case falls apart. But he's kind of right to the extent that yes, it is a one-sided argument because that's kind of what an indictment is.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Just say this legal battle is only just beginning right now. Everyone stand by. We're just hours away from the truly historic moment in American history, the indictment of a former president of the United States, talking about Donald Trump, yes, yet he's still struggling to finalize, get this, his own legal team. We'll have a live report from Miami. We got new information that's coming up.

Plus, the fundraising certainly goes on at the same time. We have new details on the big dollar party plan for Trump's New Jersey Golf Club later tonight.



BLITZER: Welcome back to our special live coverage. Just hours from now, we expect former President Trump to walk into that Miami federal courthouse and enter a plea to the 37 criminal charges -- felony charges filed against him, which alleged Trump mishandled highly classified documents brought to his Mar-a-Lago resort and engaged in a conspiracy -- a conspiracy to obstruct justice. That one charge alone carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

It is the first time in U.S. history that a former president has faced federal charges. And we just got new details on the booking process that's about to take place. CNN's Kaitlan Collins is joining us from Miami. Kaitlan?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, it's going to look pretty similar to what would happen if an average person who is going through in facing federal charges, and they showed up at a courthouse like the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. courthouse here behind me, that is where former President Trump is going to be just in a matter of hours. We are told that he'll come in.

His booking process will look pretty much like what you would expect. He'll be asked to fill out forms with his name, his address, his social security number on it, Wolf. He will be fingerprinted not with ink, but it will be a digital fingerprinting that they do nowadays. Of course, that's pretty in keeping with how they do in most courthouses, that will happen.

He is not going to be handcuffed though. I think that's important to know. We talked about a lot of the logistics of what this looked like. The last time he was indicted and had that arraignment in New York, we are told he will not be restrained in any kind of way when he is in this courthouse here behind me.

One question that is still up for debate, according to reporting from our colleague Hannah Rabinowitz is whether or not that booking process is going to happen before or after he's actually in the courtroom actually having that arraignment. And so that is the new detail we are learning, Wolf, that he will be filling out paperwork. He will be fingerprinted. He will not be handcuffed when he is in that courthouse behind me.

And the other thing, of course that we now know, Wolf, is that the attorneys who are going to be there alongside him have now formally entered their filings that they will be the two attorneys with him today. That's Todd Blanche and Chris Kise. Those are the two attorneys as he's still trying to finalize his legal team.

Wolf, one thing I will note is we have been outside this courthouse for several hours now, and I know you've been hearing from our colleague Shimon is we're seeing a bit of a growing crowd of the former president's supporters out in front of this courthouse. It's not clear that he'll actually see them as he goes in because we're not clear that we'll actually see Trump as he walks in. But obviously, they are keeping an eye on what the security outside this courthouse looks like. And, of course, still several hours to go before Trump actually shows up here to this courthouse.

BLITZER: Yes. Let's hope it remains peaceful. Kaitlan Collins is in Miami for us, thank you very much. Erin.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Wolf. And still ahead. CNN gets exclusive video of Trump inside his Doral Resort getting ready, surrounded by you know, fawning fans, and his body man, Walt Nauta. His alleged co-conspirator in the indictment at the Doral Resort. Our Randi Kaye was there and she'll be next.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were just feet away from the former president when he showed up for dinner at his Doral Resort. We'll tell you what he had to say and who he dined with. The exclusive video. Next.



BLITZER: Former President Donald Trump is spending this morning at his resort in Doral, Florida. He arrived there yesterday just ahead of his arrest on 37 charges for his handling of highly classified documents. CNN's Randi Kaye is also in Doral for us just ahead of today's arraignment. Randi, so what is the former president had been up to since he arrived?

KAYE: Wolf, he got to his resort yesterday afternoon, around 3:30. His son Eric Trump was waiting in the lobby for him. He came in with his lawyers, and then they disappeared upstairs in the resort likely to hold some strategy meetings.

We didn't know if we were going to see him again. But then we got this exclusive video around 7:00 p.m. last night as he came downstairs to the main restaurant in the lobby of Trump National Doral here to dine with his son Eric, also some of his lawyers. We've also learned since that his co-defendant, Walt Nauta, was with him, as well as some top advisors.


As he entered the restaurant, Wolf, there were a few supporters in the lobby area telling him -- yelling his way saying we support you, you got this, you're going to have a great day tomorrow. We love you. He gave them a thumbs up.

And then once he got inside the restaurant just inside, some people had asked if he would take pictures with them. And he paused and did that before disappearing into a back room to probably have another strategy session with his lawyers for dinner, as well as his son, Eric. Now, Wolf, we do know that he's supposed to depart here at about 1:30 or so. It's only about a 20-minute drive from Doral here to the Miami federal courthouse.

And if you look around here, we've noticed that there aren't many protesters or supporters here, Wolf. It seems as though most of them have headed to the Miami federal courthouse. We know, of course, the Secret Service is here with the former president as well as some sharpshooters as well, all over the Doral property where we've been. But it's unclear why we're not seeing the protesters likely there at the courthouse, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Randi Kaye on the scene for us at Doral, thank you very much. Erin?

BURNETT: All right. Wolf, well, following today's arrest, the former president will welcome high-dollar donors to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Trump is hosting what's their billing as the first major fundraising event of his presidential campaign.

Our Kristen Holmes is live near Bedminster. So, Kristen, of course, the president -- the former president will you know be arrested, enter his plea, and then immediately fly back to where you are for this event where I -- what do you know? I mean, is it going to be - you know, let all the cameras in? Is he going to give a big manifesto? Is it a closed door? What are the details?

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. So, we have two separate events tonight, but there's fundraisers -- those donors will be a part of both. You mentioned that fundraiser. There's the high dollar fundraisers.

We're told it's a small, intimate event that's going to be off-camera. However, those donors will be in the room when Trump delivers his remarks, which will be on camera. And the real question here is how exactly he is going to respond.

Is he going to continue with this messaging of election interference saying that this is political? And it's likely so because we got a preview of those remarks when we saw him speak in Georgia, when we saw him speak in North Carolina. We know that despite the fact that he is focusing on 2024, that these legal issues are consuming him.

So, we expect to hear a lot of that. Now, again, in the room other than those donors are going to be supporters and club members. Something to watch because as you know, with all of these events that are held with these Trump properties, he ends up getting somewhat of a hero's welcome when he ends -- when he -- after with these big days where he's arraigned whether it was in Manhattan, he went back to Mar- a-Lago or in Bedminster the night after he was indicted.

They were so -- he was seen out on the patio DJ. He surrounds himself by people -- with people who support him a hundred percent. That is what we're hearing from some of the donors who are going to be here. they say that they're going to support him no matter what. So, likely to see a sympathetic crowd and someone that he -- crowd that he can really work off of with that energy he has.

BURNETT: All Right. Interesting, Kristen. And, of course, everyone's going to be so curious to know their names as so many of the high- profile sort of big-known donors have left, right?

They've gone to other candidates. But who is staying and why, I think everyone wants to know. All right, Kristen, thank you so much because she is there on the scene.

And new details about Trump aide Walt Nauta who was also charged in the indictment, right the co-conspirator, his body man. The former president keeping him close by his side, even now dinner with him last night, keeping them incredibly close. And are learning more about him next.



BLITZER: Donald Trump is not the only defendant facing criminal charges for the mishandling of highly classified documents. Walt Nauta, the Trump's personal aide and former White House valet is also charged in the indictment and will appear in the Miami federal courtroom today as well. He reportedly dined with Trump and his attorneys last night.

CNN's Brian Todd is joining us right now. Brian, what more do we know about Nauta?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, by all accounts, Walt Nauta is a very humble and hardworking man who Donald Trump liked and trusted. A great deal while they work together. Here's what I can tell you about Nauta's background.

He is a 40-year-old Navy veteran. He enlisted in the Navy in 2001. He is from the island of Guam in the western Pacific. He started his assignment at the White House working in the White House mess hall, which is actually run by the U.S. Navy. Then he became a White House valet.

And from people who CNN has interviewed, from a New York Times piece profiling him, people have described him as someone who would get Trump's diet cokes, who would cook meals for people at the White House, who would always have Trump's hairspray, and a hand sanitizer ready when the president needed it. Then he followed Trump to Mar-a- Lago when Trump left the White House in 2021. Walt Nauta retired from the Navy, then followed Trump to Mar-a-Lago as a "body man" doing some of the same tasks that he did as a valet.

Now, here are some of the charges that Walt Nauta faces today. Conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and making false statements to federal agents.

Now, that's one we can drill down a little bit on because according to the indictment, when prosecutors asked Walt Nauta if he knew where some of the most sensitive documents were before they were transferred to Trump's private residence at Mar-a-Lago, this according to the indictment is what Walt Nauta said. "I wish -- I wish I can tell you. I don't know. I don't -- I honestly just don't know."

But according to the indictment, Walt Nauta didn't know where those boxes were that he actually, according to prosecutors, moved boxes at Mar-a-Lago at least five times. Removed a total of 64 boxes, and only brought back about 34, federal investigators to collect when they came to the White House.


Now, we've talked to legal analysts and others who have kind of studied this case of Walt Nauta, along with us, Wolf. Many of them do expect him to maybe cooperate to maybe get either a lighter sentence or maybe no jail time. They expect that's a pretty good possibility. We also should say that we tried several times to contact Walt Nauta's attorney about this case, and we have not gotten a comment from the attorney, Wolf.

BLITZER: Let's see if he flips indeed, Brian Todd, thank you very much. On the 49-page criminal indictment is headlined right at the top of the indictment, it says the United States of America versus Donald J. Trump and Walt Nauta. Defendants. Very significant indeed, but watch that closely.

In flux and racing against the clock. Trump's legal team preparing as the former president of the United States gets ready to step inside a federal courtroom. We'll have new details on this historic moment. That's next.