First court appearance for Trump’s co-defendant

Source MSNBC: The judge carefully reviewed the four charges against Carlos De Oliveira and ensured that his rights were acknowledged before setting the signature bond at $100,000. However, since De Oliveira has not yet secured local legal representation in Florida, he was instructed to return for his arraignment next month.

Carlos De Oliveira’s initial court appearance on Monday may not progress Donald Trump’s classified documents case any further. John Irving, who represents Trump’s newly indicted co-defendant, revealed that he did not anticipate his client having local legal counsel before the hearing on Monday.

Irving, who is not authorized to practice law in the Florida federal district where De Oliveira is facing charges, informed NBC News that they were currently “working on finding local counsel.”

If, in fact, they have not secured legal representation by the scheduled appearance in Miami at 10:30 a.m., the hearing may be brief and uneventful. Its primary significance would then lie in determining the extent of De Oliveira and Irving’s leeway in finding local counsel, as well as establishing the next court date.

We can recall the situation with Trump’s other co-defendant, Walt Nauta, whose failure to secure local legal representation resulted in the postponement of his arraignment and consequently, the entire case, for several weeks. Nauta was eventually arraigned and pleaded not guilty on July 6, following Trump’s earlier plea of not guilty on June 13.

In typical cases, arraignments and securing local legal counsel are administrative matters that do not necessarily impact the course of the case. However, in this instance, the backdrop of the upcoming 2024 election, which could potentially grant Trump the power to obstruct this case if he is victorious, adds a unique dimension.

It is important to note that De Oliveira was only recently indicted late last week, so it is too early to determine if this will mirror the situation with Nauta. If there is a delay on Monday, the question will be the extent of the delay. De Oliveira is scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge, similar to Trump and Nauta during their arraignments, rather than Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case.

Cannon had previously set a trial date for Trump and Nauta in May 2024, before De Oliveira became involved. However, even that date was not guaranteed, considering the expected delays that Trump would likely push for as it draws nearer.

Therefore, in addition to strengthening the case against Trump, special counsel Jack Smith’s superseding indictment and inclusion of another defendant further cast doubt on the certainty of the trial date. Nonetheless, as argued by Smith’s team in a filing alongside the superseding indictment, there is no reason for the current trial schedule to change solely due to the new charges and defendant.

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