Courts & Litigation

Government Requests Conflict of Interest Inquiry in Mar-a-Lago Case

Gia Kokotakis
Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 1:20 PM

The government asked the court to investigate Waltine Nauta’s lawyer for potential conflicts of interest due to his representation of three people involved in the case.

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On August 2, the government filed a motion for a hearing to conduct an inquiry into Waltine Nauta’s lawyer, Stanley Woodward Jr., regarding his potential conflicts of interest in the case relating to the mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Woodward previously represented “Trump Employee 4”, who the government believes “had information that would incriminate Nauta.” Woodward currently represents two other individuals, Witnesses 1 and 2, tied to the case. All three individuals may be called to testify at trial.

The government argues that a conflict of interest may arise at trial if Woodward is put in the position to cross-examine his own clients. His previous or current relationships with these individuals may result in “the attorney’s improper use or disclosure of the client’s confidences during the cross-examination” or for him to “pull his punches during cross-examination, perhaps to protect the client’s confidences or to ‘advance his own personal interest.’” In addition to identifying possible conflicts of interest, the government also seeks to hold the hearing to determine “whether Nauta or Witnesses 1 and 2 wish to waive any conflicts, and, if so, whether the waiver is knowing and voluntary.”

You can read the motion here or below: 

Gia Kokotakis was an intern at Lawfare and is a senior at Georgetown University, where she studies government, French, and Jewish civilization. She received an Attestation d’Études Politiques from Sciences Po Lyon in May 2023.

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