Former President Donald Trump was captured on tape talking about classified document he kept after leaving the White House and prosecutors have obtained a copy of the recording, CNN reports.
Citing sources with knowledge of the investigation, the news network reported that Trump was recorded during a 2021 meeting in which former President Donald Trump acknowledges he held onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran.
“The recording indicates Trump understood he retained classified material after leaving the White House,” the sources told CNN.
On the recording, Trump’s comments suggest he would like to share the information but he’s aware of limitations on his ability post-presidency to declassify records, undercutting his argument that he declassified everything.
One source said the relevant portion on the Iran document is about two minutes long, and another source said the discussion is a small part of a much longer meeting.
“Special counsel Jack Smith, who is leading the Justice Department investigation into Trump, has focused on the meeting as part of the criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of national security secrets,” CNN reported.
Sources describe the recording as an “important” piece of evidence in a possible case against Trump, who has repeatedly asserted he could retain presidential records and “automatically” declassify documents just by “thinking about it.”