Trump's 'most loyal aide' interviewed on classified docs as special counsel builds obstruction case
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks to members of the media after a meeting meeting with Pentagon officials at Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., December 21, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)

A man described as Donald Trump's "most loyal aide" has been interviewed by special counsel Jack Smith's team in preparation for an obstruction of justice case against the former president.

According to The New York Times, longtime Trump aide Walt Nauta agreed to an interview after classified government documents were recovered from Mar-a-Lago. The documents were said to have included a sensitive map.

"Investigators have compiled extensive witness testimony, texts and emails from a number of key witnesses. They have constructed a timeline of Mr. Trump's actions and movements and interviewed dozens of people, including close advisers to Mr. Trump as well as staff members at Mar-a-Lago and former administration officials who had knowledge of how he handled documents in different settings," the report said. "They have heard from witnesses who described Mr. Trump being urged repeatedly in 2021 by aides and advisers to return material to the National Archives, and then how he handled the grand jury investigation by the Justice Department that began early last year and resulted in a subpoena for any remaining classified material in Mr. Trump's possession."

The report said that the special counsel's office is now believed to have interviewed all people with knowledge of the classified documents.

It was not immediately clear if Smith was also considering charging Trump with the Espionage Act, which was cited in a Mar-a-Lago search warrant.

Trump may have shown the classified map to aides, visitors, and a journalist, the Times noted.

"The question of whether Mr. Trump was displaying sensitive material in his possession after he lost the presidency and left office is crucial as investigators try to reconstruct what Mr. Trump was doing with boxes of documents that went with him to his Florida residence and private club, Mar-a-Lago," the report observed.

Earlier reports indicated that Nauta was spotted moving the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago before and after the Department of Justice issued a subpoena for their return.