Former President Donald Trump was recorded as he acknowledged in 2021 that he had withheld “secret” military documents from his time in office without declassifying them.
In the recording, Trump admitted that, as president, he had the authority to declassify the documents but chose not to do so.
“As president, I could have declassified, but now I can’t,” Trump said about a classified Pentagon paper outlining a potential military strike on Iran, CNN reported, citing a transcript of the recording.
“Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this,” the 45th president also said. “This was done by the military and given to me.”
Federal prosecutors obtained the recording and subsequently indicted Trump on multiple charges, including the willful retention of national defense information, CNN reports.
The special counsel leading the investigation, Jack Smith, filed seven counts against Trump, including violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, destruction or falsification of records, and potentially conspiracy. Smith is also leading a separate investigation into Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump’s attorney confirmed that he had received a court summons to appear in Miami federal court.
Prosecutors have questioned General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as part of their investigation, particularly regarding a four-page report outlining an Iran strike involving a significant deployment of US troops.
The meeting took place at Trump’s golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to CNN.