Trump co-defendant in classified documents case was told he’d be pardoned in a second term, notes in FBI interview say

Donald Trump’s valet Walt Nauta was told that if he was charged with lying to the FBI, the former president would pardon him when he won a second term in 2024, according to notes from an interview with a witness in the federal classified documents investigation.

A redacted summary of the November 2022 interview given to the FBI by the witness – who is identified as “Person 16” and described as someone who worked in Trump’s White House – was made public in newly unsealed court filings in the criminal case on Monday.

Nauta was charged in June of last year with lying to the FBI and obstructing the investigation by special counsel Jack Smith, along with Trump who was charged with obstruction and mishandling of classified and national defense information. Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Nauta’s attorney declined to comment to CNN. Trump’s attorneys have not responded to CNN’s inquiry.

It’s not clear how the witness came to know of the alleged offer of a pardon. The FBI’s interview summary said Person 16 had not spoken to Nauta since Trump was in the White House.

“NAUTA was told by FPOTUS’ people that his investigation was not going anywhere, that it was politically motivated and ‘much ado about nothing,’” the interview summary says, referring to the abbreviation for Former President of the United States. “NAUTA was also told that even if he gets charged with lying to the FBI, FPOTUS will pardon him in 2024.”

The summary also indicated the witness refused for the interview to be recorded, saying that would be “a far bigger risk for him in the Trump world.”

The witness visited Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida a number of times after the end of Trump’s presidency. During a November 2021 visit, the witness told Trump to give “whatever” he had back to the National Archives, according to the interview summary, which is known as a FD-302.

“Let them come here and get everything. Don’t give them a noble reason to indict you, because they will,” the witness told Trump, according to the witness’ account.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago to recover classified material in August 2022.

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