Trump Lashes Out After Report of Classified Document Recording

June 1, 2023

Former President Trump is lashing out against leaks following reports of an audio recording in which he acknowledges he held onto a classified document after leaving the White House.

“Massachusetts’ top federal prosecutor leaked sensitive information from the Justice Department in an effort to help a friend win an election, and hurt the opponent,” Trump posted Tuesday evening on his Truth Social site. “The prosecutor just resigned. Big ramifications. BUT WAIT, all of the Democrat ‘Persecutors’ that are trying to Interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election are leaking constantly, and illegally, about me. Will they be resigning, and will there be an investigation into their leaking? There should be!”

CNN was first to report that federal prosecutors had obtained the recording, from the summer of 2021, which is reportedly of Trump saying he held onto a classified document from his time in the White House about a potential attack on Iran. The claim would undermine his assertions that he declassified all the documents in his possession.

The New York Times followed up, citing a source who said that in the recording, Trump suggested he knew the document was secret and had not declassified it.

The reporting goes on to describe the larger conversation on the recording. Trump reportedly began complaining about his handpicked Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, who has been referred to in previous media accounts as having guarded against Trump’s striking Iran in the final days of his Administration.

The recording was reportedly made during a meeting at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey club with people helping his former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, write a memoir about this time in the White House. 

On Wednesday former Trump attorney James Trusty was interviewed on CNN by one of the reporters who broke the story, Kaitlan Collins.

“You are told by the DOJ or FBI or whoever filtered that to you anything they can think of to justify the persecution,” Trusty told Collins. 

He chalked her reporting up to “rumors,” saying, “They had rumors out yesterday. There is going to be one every day. They had rumors out yesterday characterizing the theoretical testimony of [former Trump attorney] Evan Corcoran. It was completely false.”

During another CNN interview Wednesday, former Trump attorney Ty Cobb said that Department of Justice prosecutors “have their foot on his neck,” referring to the former President.

“[The recording] further enhances the obstruction case because it eviscerates the two defenses that Trump has put forward—the first being that merely by taking documents, he declassifies them or that he has the authority if he is playing with the ducks in the hot tub to declassify them in his own mind,”  Cobb said.

In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed veteran career prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to determine whether criminal charges ought to be brought against Trump.

In recent weeks it’s been reported that Smith is apparently focusing on obstruction of justice surrounding Trump’s handling of the classified documents, including whether the former President took or directed actions to impede government efforts to collect all the sensitive records.

In April, sources told The Washington Post that Smith is trying to determine whether there is enough evidence to ask a grand jury to charge Trump with obstructing the investigation.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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