tremendous content

Trump Is Paying His Diet Coke Valet’s Legal Fees

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This fall has been difficult for Donald Trump. His daughter Ivanka Trump abandoned his political campaign, he was dubbed the biggest loser of the GOP’s disappointing midterms, he accidentally dined with more antisemites than he bargained for, his business was convicted of criminal tax fraud, and the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to continue investigating him. But there has been one ray of sunshine: It appears the bond between Trump and his former Diet Coke valet remains intact.

In October, it seemed that Walt Nauta had turned on Trump — as if all the years he spent fetching fizzy aspartame water when the president pushed his famous Diet Coke button meant nothing to him. The Washington Post identified him as the Trump employee who told federal investigators that the former president personally directed him to move boxes of classified documents from a Mar-a-Lago storage area to his private residence.

When Trump left the White House, Nauta followed him to Mar-a-Lago, serving as his personal aide. He was also put on the payroll for Trump’s Save America PAC, making about $135,000 a year. Sources said Trump “trusted him completely” and had even asked his valet for advice on how to stay in power after his 2020 election defeat.

Following the Mar-a-Lago raid in August, Nauta initially tried to cover for his boss but then changed his story. The Post reported in October:

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.

This made Nauta “a key focus for prosecutors” in the ongoing investigation, according to the New York Times; Feds were said to be using the “specter of charges against him for misleading investigators to persuade him to sit again for questioning.”

Now the Post reports that despite his apparent betrayal, the Save America PAC is still covering legal bills for Nauta along with other key witnesses, like Trump adviser Kash Patel, in the classified-document investigation:

Both Patel and Nauta are represented by Brand Woodward Law, which according to public records has been paid more than $120,000 by Trump’s Save America PAC. Stan Brand, the top lawyer at the firm, said there is nothing improper about the PAC paying legal bills for witnesses in the investigation. Another lawyer not involved in the case, however, said it could encourage witnesses to not cooperate.

Will financial support from the Save America PAC convince Nauta to clam up again? It’s too soon to say. But we do know that Trump isn’t going to sit idly by while the Feds try to pressure him. Nobody puts Trump’s Diet Coke guy in a corner.

More tremendous content

See All
Trump Is Paying His Diet Coke Valet’s Legal Fees