The federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case has released a record that will no doubt add fuel to critics who see the case as very politically motivated.

A US District Judge named Aileen Cannon has ordered the unsealing of more evidence in a case. The latest batch of evidence reveals that one of the top lawyers in the Justice Department threatened the attorney who was representing a defendant associated with Trump.

Investigative reporter Julie Kelly uncovered the previously concealed details of attorney Stanley Woodward’s encounter with DOJ prosecutor Jay Bratt. They met to discuss the trial of Woodward’s client, former Trump aide Walt Nauta. As per one document, which aligns with claims from Nauta’s defense team in the past year, Bratt advised Woodward against representing his client. Bratt suggested that proceeding with the representation might negatively impact Woodward’s application for a judgeship.

“Upon Mr. Woodward’s arrival at Main Justice, he was led to a conference room where Mr. Bratt awaited with what appeared to be a folder containing information about Mr. Woodward,” the document reads. “Mr. Bratt thereupon told Mr. Woodward he didn’t consider him to be a ‘Trump lawyer,’ and he further said that he was aware that Mr. Woodward had been recommended to President Biden for an appointment to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.”

“Mr. Bratt followed up with words to the effect of ‘I wouldn’t want to do anything to mess that up,” it goes on. In other words, the document concludes, Biden’s DOJ was leaning on Nauta’s attorney to “‘play ball or you have no chance of becoming a judge.’”

Nauta, a Navy veteran and former bodyguard to Trump, is confronted with six federal charges, as reported by the New York Post. These include conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheming to conceal, and making false statements to federal agents. If convicted, he could face decades in prison and significant fines, potentially amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

President Trump defended his aide on Truth Social, claiming that his prosecution is a result of the Biden Justice Department targeting Trump’s top political rival.

“I have just learned that the ‘Thugs’ from the Department of Injustice will be Indicting a wonderful man, Walt Nauta, a member of the U.S. Navy, who served proudly with me in the White House, retired as Senior Chief, and then transitioned into private life as a personal aide,” he wrote. “He has done a fantastic job! They are trying to destroy his life, like the lives of so many others, hoping that he will say bad things about ‘Trump.’ He is strong, brave, and a Great Patriot. The FBI and DOJ are CORRUPT!”

James Trusty, a former lawyer for Trump, told CNN in June 2023 that his colleague Woodward, who was being pressured by Bratt, is an ethical officer of the court who does not deserve such treatment.

“He apparently, along with five other people in his presence from DOJ, extorted a very well-respected, very intelligent lawyer from Washington, DC, saying essentially, ‘If you want this judgeship that’s on Joe Biden’s desk, you have to flip your guy to cooperate against the President of the United States,’” Trusty said.


Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.