It turns out that Stan Woodward has or still is representing enough witnesses in the stolen document case to field an ultimate frisbee team (seven people).
He would have even had a sub before Yuscil Taveras got a new lawyer on July 5.
Those are the details DOJ included in a motion for a Garcia hearing in the stolen documents case, asking Judge Cannon to conduct a colloquy with Walt Nauta and two witnesses the government may call to testify against Nauta, to make sure they’re all cool with the conflicts that representing clients with adverse interests may pose.
According to the filing, DOJ first told Woodward about the potential conflict that representing both Taveras and Nauta might pose in February, then again in March.
In February and March 2023, the Government informed Mr. Woodward, orally and in writing, that his concurrent representation of Trump Employee 4 and Nauta raised a potential conflict of interest. The Government specifically informed Mr. Woodward that the Government believed Trump Employee 4 had information that would incriminate Nauta. Mr. Woodward informed the Government that he was unaware of any testimony that Trump Employee 4 would give that would incriminate Nauta and had advised Trump Employee 4 and Nauta of the Government’s position about a possible conflict. According to Mr. Woodward, he did not have reason to believe his concurrent representation of Trump Employee 4 and Nauta raised a conflict of interest.
Taveras’ testimony that he told Carlos De Oliveira to call the guys who could give him permissions to start deleting things provides critical context for the text that Nauta sent Matthew Calamari Sr. around the same time.
For his part, Taveras is okay with Woodward staying on the case so long has he doesn’t use any confidences he shared to cross-examine him.
The Government has conferred with Trump Employee 4’s new counsel, and Trump Employee 4 does not intend to waive his rights to confidentiality, loyalty, and conflict-free representation with respect to his earlier representation by Mr. Woodward.
Trump Employee 4’s presence at the hearing is not required. As set forth above, Trump Employee 4 has informed the Government, through his new counsel, that he takes no position as to Mr. Woodward’s continuing representation of Nauta (or anyone else) but does not consent to the use or disclosure of his client confidences and expects Mr. Woodward to comport with the ethical rules regarding maintenance of client confidences.
That would mean that Woodward may not be able to defend Nauta as vigorously as he otherwise might, because he might pull his punches against Taveras.
That’s part of the reason prosecutors want Cannon to make sure Nauta understands the limitations this may put on Woodward’s representation of him.
But that’s not all. Of the eight total witnesses in this investigation that Woodward has represented, two other people he still represents may also testify against Nauta, and their interests may conflict as well.
Nauta is represented by Stanley Woodward, Jr., who has represented at least seven other individuals who have been questioned in connection with the investigation. Those individuals include the director of information technology for Mar-a-Lago (identified in the superseding indictment as Trump Employee 4) and two individuals who worked for Trump during his presidency and afterwards (hereafter Witness 1 and Witness 2).
Witness 1 worked in the White House during Trump’s presidency and then subsequently worked for Trump’s post-presidential office in Florida. Mr. Woodward has represented Witness 1 in connection with this case and, to the Government’s knowledge, continues to do so.
Witness 2 worked for Trump’s reelection campaign and worked for Trump’s political action committee after Trump’s presidency ended. Mr. Woodward has represented Witness 2 in connection with this case and, to the Government’s knowledge, continues to do so.
I told you I was missing some of the people he represents on the list I included in this post!
So on top of being paid by the PAC that’s under criminal investigation as part of a fraud scheme, Woodward is now representing an ultimate frisbee team’s worth of witnesses who may have to testify against each other.
This is the problem with omertàs: when they start to fail, they can collapse quickly.
I have argued that Woodward has done several things in this case — most recently, in demanding that Nauta get access to the classified documents he doesn’t have a need to know — designed to test how much Judge Cannon will let get the defense away with.
This one is a pretty big test of Judge Cannon, however.