Bombshell : Donald Trump caught on secrete audio


Federal prosecutors have been given an audio recording of Donald Trump in which he discusses keeping a classified Pentagon document after leaving the White House.

The document was related to a potential attack on Iran, according to multiple reports – and comes to light amid an ongoing investigation into the ex-president’s handling of classified documents.

Trump suggested on the recording that he wanted to share information from the document with others but knew there were limits to what he could declassify after he left office, reports CNN.

The comments, made in July 2021 at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, would seem to undercut Trump’s repeated claims that he declassified the documents he took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate, after leaving office.

Aide Margo Martin was regularly taping Trump at the time so that she could accurately depict his remarks in former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ memoirs, the CNN report states.

The recording could also be a key aid for prosecutors looking to prove Trump knew his ability to possess classified documents was limited.

It was provided to special counsel Jack Smith, whose team of prosecutors have spent months investigating the potential mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and whether Trump or anyone else sought to criminally obstruct the probe.

The investigation shows signs of being in its final stages, with prosecutors having interviewed a broad cross-section of witnesses before the grand jury.

Trump has not yet been charged in connection to the classified document handling and raid on his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, although he faces an ongoing case over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The criminal investigation began last year after the National Archives and Records Administration alerted the FBI to the presence of classified documents in 15 boxes of records sent back, belatedly, from Mar-a-Lago by Trump and his representatives.

Investigators initially issued a subpoena for remaining classified records, but after they received only about three dozen during a June 2022 visit to Mar-a-Lago, returned with a search warrant two months later and recovered about 100 more documents marked as classified.

Smith, the special counsel, is also investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election – the subject of a similar, ongoing inquiry by prosecutors in Atlanta.

New York prosecutors charged Trump earlier this year with falsifying business records.

Meadows’ autobiography includes a description of what appears to be the same meeting. A lawyer for Meadows declined to comment Wednesday when reached by The Associated Press.

Meadows was one of the highest-ranking Trump officials known to have responded to a subpoena in the federal investigation.

CNN said witnesses including Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been questioned about the episode.

A spokesman for Milley declined to comment on reports that he had been interviewed.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

A Trump spokesman said in a statement that the investigation was ‘meritless’ and amounted to ‘continued interference in the presidential election.’

Smith has finished collecting evidence into how confidential presidential files ended up at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

The newspaper, citing people familiar with the matter, said Trump allies expect an indictment to be served.

Special counsels enjoy broad autonomy within the Justice Department, and officials have repeatedly signaled that the recommendation on whether to pursue charges against Trump or anyone else in the investigation belongs with Smith and his team.

The investigation is seeking to determine whether Trump illegally retained classified documents taken with him from the White House to his Florida home after the end of his term and whether he sought to obstruct government efforts to get the records back.

Smith’s work examines whether anyone tried to scupper the criminal inquiry, or whether Trump illegally held on to documents that he should have turned over to authorities.

Trump insists he did nothing wrong, and says his power as president meant documents were automatically declassified if he chose to remove them from his official offices.

But it is unclear whether the top attorney has gathered enough proof for Garland to charge the ex-commander-in-chief with a crime.




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