Thursday, December 14, 2023

Recording Reveals Trump Discussing Classified Document Retained Post-White House Exit

Recording Reveals Trump Discussing Classified Document Retained Post-White House Exit 

Former President Donald Trump is facing increased scrutiny as federal prosecutors have reportedly obtained an audio recording from a summer 2021 meeting where Trump acknowledges holding a classified Pentagon document related to a potential attack on Iran. This revelation contradicts Trump's claim that he had declassified all relevant material upon leaving the White House.

CNN Releases Video Proving Trump Was Knowingly Sharing Classified Documents

Multiple sources familiar with the investigation have stated that the recording indicates Trump was aware of retaining classified information after his presidency but was cautious about the limitations on his ability to declassify records post-presidency. Although CNN has not listened to the recording, sources describe Trump's comments as suggesting a desire to share the information.

Special counsel Jack Smith, leading the Justice Department investigation, is focusing on this meeting as part of the criminal inquiry into Trump's handling of national security secrets. Prosecutors have questioned witnesses, including General Mark Milley, one of the highest-ranking national security officials from the Trump era.

The meeting occurred in July 2021 at Trump's golf club in New Jersey, involving individuals working on the autobiography of Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. The attendees lacked security clearances, and the discussion reportedly revolved around a document related to an alleged plan to attack Iran.

While Meadows' autobiography recounts a similar meeting, Trump's reference to a document allegedly prepared by Milley is disputed. Investigators have questioned Milley about the incident, and the recording is considered crucial evidence in a potential case against Trump.

The revelation comes amid Trump's third bid for the presidency, raising questions about his legal exposure. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, attributing leaks to political motives and calling the Justice Department's investigation shameful interference in the election.

The investigation has shown signs of nearing completion, although no criminal charges have been filed yet. The recording, capturing Trump discussing a classified document, sheds light on both his actions at Mar-a-Lago and the events in Bedminster a year earlier.

Trump's various explanations for the handling of declassified documents have raised concerns. His legal team has provided conflicting statements, ranging from a standing declassification order to documents being inadvertently packed up at the end of the administration. The lack of clarity on the declassification process remains a focal point in the ongoing investigation.

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