It looks like Donald Trump’s body man, who was indicted alongside the former president for mishandling classified documents, might have something else in common with his boss: Walt Nauta has also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Trump hired Nauta in August 2021 to be part of his postpresidential team. Prior to that, Nauta had spent 20 years serving in the Navy. But just weeks before his job change, Nauta’s naval career was nearly ended by multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct, The Daily Beast reported Thursday.
Three female service members accused Nauta of inappropriate conduct in April 2021, but his problematic behavior had been happening for years, the Beast said, citing two anonymous sources. Nauta was assigned to the White House food service in 2012, during the Obama administration. He worked his way up the ranks and was ultimately assigned to be Trump’s personal valet.
During that time, when he was also married, Nauta allegedly had multiple overlapping and emotionally abusive romantic relationships. His partners were lower-ranked service members, which violates the U.S. military’s strict ban on “fraternization,” or engaging in “unduly familiar” relationships with someone of a different rank. These relationships can be personal, professional, or romantic.
Nauta was also accused of revenge porn for allegedly taking and keeping compromising images of the women and then threatening to make those images public.
When a Navy investigation revealed the extent of Nauta’s behavior, he admitted to the relationships and was escorted off White House grounds that same day. It is unclear if he was officially charged or simply allowed to take his retirement a few months early. Trump’s job offer came just a few weeks later.
Colby Vokey, a military criminal defense attorney and retired Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, told the Beast that the Navy usually has to act fast with cases like Nauta’s. Vokey said Nauta’s case appeared unusual because of the Navy’s apparent delay in conducting a deeper investigation.
But, the Beast wrote, according to Vokey, “it wouldn’t be surprising if the Navy saw the Mar-a-Lago offer, coinciding as it did with Nauta’s retirement window, as an opportunity to avoid practical difficulties in investigating White House personnel and to avoid a potential public relations firestorm.”
It is unclear if Trump knew about the allegations against Nauta when he offered him a job, but it is unlikely Trump would be bothered by them. At least 26 women have accused Trump of sexual assault or misconduct, and just last week, he was ordered to pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll for defaming her in 2019 after she revealed he sexually abused her in the mid-1990s.
Nauta has been indicted alongside Trump for the former president’s hoarding of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump, Nauta, and a third resort employee named Carlos De Oliveira are accused of trying to destroy evidence, including attempting to delete security footage off a server.
Nauta allegedly moved boxes of documents out of a Mar-a-Lago storage room so Trump’s lawyer couldn’t find them and return them to the government. Nauta says he did not know what was in the boxes at the time.