UNITED STATES: People familiar with the criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s retention of national security papers argue that federal prosecutors obtained audio of a meeting that took place in the summer of 2021 in which the former US president suggested that he should have declassified a military document about Iran that he admitted to keeping.
Trump presumed that the report outlining the plan for an attack on Iran would refute Milley’s accusation assertions, regardless of the fact that the report had actually been written earlier in his administration when Joseph Dunford was the chairman of the joint chiefs, as per sources.
The document in inquiry is presumed to be “secret” in categorization, which is significant because the justice department regularly prefers to charge espionage cases involving retention of materials at that level rather than “top secret” papers that might be too sensitive or “confidential” papers that are too low.
A spokesperson for Trump mentioned, “It’s just more proof that when it comes to President Trump, there are absolutely no depths to which they will not sink as they pursue their witch hunts.”
The recording was made by Trump’s adviser Margo Martin at his Bedminster golf club in July 2021 when the former president met with individuals assisting his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in writing a book. Martin often recorded talks with authors to make sure their accounts of his remarks were correct.
Around March, when the criminal investigation into Trump’s administration was ramping up, and numerous Trump associates were being summoned to testify before the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the case in Washington, it seems that prosecutors in the office of special counsel Jack Smith obtained the recording.
According to the sources, Martin asserted in mid-March after having her laptop and phones photographed by the prosecution, and the tape was shown to several witnesses, including Martin. According to one of the sources, Martin’s testimony was the catalyst for the Trump attorneys’ key to identifying the tape.
The reports claim that for several minutes of the audio recording, Trump discusses how he cannot discuss the document because he no longer has the broad executive privilege to declassify since stepping down, but assumes that he should have done so when he was still in the White House.