Judge Aileen Cannon has granted the Justice Department’s request to hold hearings to investigate potential conflicts of interest involving two attorneys representing co-defendants of former President Donald Trump in the Mar-a-Lago case. The DOJ raised concerns that these attorneys are also representing clients who may be called as witnesses against Walt Nauta, Trump’s valet, and Carlos De Oliveira, the Mar-a-Lago property manager who assisted him.
Stanley Woodward, Nauta’s attorney, has represented at least seven other individuals who have been questioned in connection with the investigation, including those who have testified about Nauta. The DOJ emphasized the need to inform Nauta about the potential conflicts and associated risks. De Oliveira, who is facing charges of obstruction of justice and lying to authorities, is represented by John Irving, who is also serving as counsel to the DOJ. Irving allegedly possesses information that contradicts statements made by De Oliveira to the government and has knowledge of De Oliveira’s loyalty to Trump and involvement in replacing a lock at Mar-a-Lago.
Dual hearings on these matters have been scheduled for October 12. This decision follows complaints from special counsel Jack Smith’s team regarding Trump’s offer to pay for the attorneys of individuals involved in his legal troubles. The DOJ previously requested a Garcia hearing for another client of Stanley Woodward, resulting in the client providing information that led to charges against De Oliveira. Woodward later expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of the DOJ’s offer, suggesting it was made only after the client switched representation. Both Woodward and Irving declined to comment on the matter.