Former President Donald Trump recently revealed additional information regarding a “secret document” that he previously mentioned in an audio recording. This document is at the center of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment concerning Trump’s possession of classified documents.
In the summer, Smith filed 37 counts against Trump in this case, all pertaining to his alleged mishandling of confidential documents.
Should the former president be convicted on all these accounts, he could face severe penalties, with a potential sentence lasting for decades.
According to Smith’s indictment, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that Trump allegedly revealed classified materials to individuals without the necessary government security clearances on two occasions at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
Information regarding one of these occasions was then disclosed to CNN.
On June 2, CNN reported that federal prosecutors had obtained an audio recording of a meeting in which former President Trump participated during the summer of 2021.
The recording reportedly includes an acknowledgment from Trump that he maintained possession of a classified Pentagon document concerning a potential attack on Iran.
This appears to contradict the 45th president’s prior assertion that all relevant information in his possession was declassified in accordance with the Presidential Records Act prior to his departure from office.
The charges “include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, a scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations,” ABC News reported.
In a subsequent wide-ranging Fox News interview with Bret Baier, Trump asserted that he had never shown anyone the classified U.S. military plan referred to in the audio recording.
He stated emphatically that he had not divulged any classified military strategy for attacking Iran, which U.S. Army General Mark Milley, the now-former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly prepared; nor did he command the military to formulate such an attack plan.
On July 21, 2021, a meeting was held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. This gathering took place approximately six months after Donald Trump’s presidency concluded.
Present at this meeting were a writer, a publisher, and two aides of the former president. The primary purpose of this assembly regarded an upcoming book by Mark Meadows – who previously served as Trump’s Chief of Staff.
According to the indictment, during this conference, Trump commented on his approval regarding Milley’s “plan of attack”, however, he denied issuing instructions for such a plan and instead clarified that it was only a misinterpretation.
“I never ordered that to happen, no,” Trump told Baier.
Former Trump administration officials have since come forward to assert that the supposed “secret plan” of attack against Iran which was allegedly displayed by the former President during the summer of 2021 did not actually exist.
Last month, legal counsel representing Mr. Trump in his classified documents case conceded to a federal judge that they had incorrectly reported having provided evidence as mandated by law.
Prosecutors discovered that the video used as evidence “had not been processed and uploaded to the platform established for the defense to view” when they were getting ready to indict Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira for allegedly conspiring with Trump to delete surveillance footage from the estate, Smith’s team wrote in a filing.
“The Government’s representation at the July 18 hearing that all surveillance footage the Government had obtained pre-indictment had been produced was therefore incorrect,” the prosecutors added.
All CCTV footage obtained by the government has now been given to the defendants, according to Smith’s team. The so-called Brady rule requires prosecutors to disclose all evidence and information favorable to the defendant.