New Mar-a-Lago defendant Carlos De Oliveira was unable to be arraigned on Monday, as he has not yet found an attorney in the Southern District of Florida to represent him, per reports from the courthouse.
De Oliveira was reportedly released on a $100,000 bond.
He’s not the first Mar-a-Lago documents defendant to have his arraignment incrementally delayed due to the counsel issue. Walt Nauta, Trump’s diet coke valet and initial co-defendant, only entered a formal plea of not guilty after two abortive attempts at an arraignment, both of which were delayed over the same issue of lack of local counsel.
De Oliveira, who was on the maintenance staff at Mar-a-Lago, faces charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, destroying a record, and false statements over his alleged involvement in an extremely Trumpian scheme to trick federal investigators who were trying to retrieve national security records that had been stashed at the club.
Federal prosecutors with Jack Smith’s office added De Oliveira via superseding indictment last week, and revealed new allegations in which Trump allegedly directed De Oliveira to delete security footage for the area where the records were purportedly kept after receiving a grand jury subpoena for the same.
De Oliveira is currently represented by attorney John Irving. He needs to hire local counsel in the Southern District of Florida before he can proceed. U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres presided over the Monday hearing, and reportedly read the charges to De Oliveira before agreeing that he could not yet be arraigned or enter a formal plea in the matter.
It’s not clear how long it will take De Oliveira to find local counsel. Nauta was initially indicted with Trump on June 8; he lodged his plea of not guilty on July 6 after finding local counsel.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon for the Southern District of Florida last week set a May 2024 trial date for Trump, though it’s not clear whether the new charges will delay that timeline.
Trump has been open about wanting a shot at recapturing the presidency in next year’s election before going to trial.