The decade's most triggering comedy
The alleged Iran document at the center of a recorded conversation thought to be a key piece of evidence in former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case is reportedly not included in his indictment.
Trump was caught on a recording allegedly showing a classified document with details relating to a possible U.S. invasion plan of Iran. The document “totally wins my case,” Trump says in the audio. Trump purportedly pulled out the document while denying claims that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley spent the final days of the Trump administration restraining the then-president from attacking Iran.
A source familiar with the matter told CBS News that the document in question is not part of the charging document filed in a federal court in Florida earlier this month. The indictment charges Trump with 37 counts, including 31 counts of willfully retaining national security information.
The 31 counts relating to national security information briefly, and vaguely, describes the underlying documents in question. The charges do not include one based on the alleged Iran attack document that Trump spoke of in the recording, according to CBS News.
Sources have previously told CBS News that a document like the one allegedly at the center of the audio recording was never recovered. Attempting to prosecute Trump over a document that was never found would be like trying to “prove a murder case without a body,” a former senior Department of Justice official said, according to CBS’s Catherine Herridge.
Multiple sources previously told CBS News defense attorneys were not certain the memo in question was ever recovered and returned to the government. Former Senior DOJ official, “..in a way it might be analogous to try to prove a murder case without a body.” https://t.co/YawawFSMIG
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 28, 2023
The indictment cites the incident that resulted in the recording as an example of Trump’s alleged misconduct with classified U.S. documents, according to CBS News. The indictment says that Trump allegedly showed the document “during an audio-recorded meeting with a writer, a publisher, and two members of his staff, none of whom possessed a security clearance.” The meeting took place in July 2021 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Audio of the meeting was obtained by multiple media outlets and made public this week.
The Trump audio:
"See as president I could have declassified it. Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret."
"Now we have a problem," a staffer responds. pic.twitter.com/ftNqOTnfZn
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 27, 2023
Trump has denied wrongdoing in the classified documents case. In an interview with Bret Baier last week, Trump denied that there was a “document, per se.”
“There was no document. That was a massive amount of papers and everything else talking about Iran and other things, and it may have been held up or it may have not, but that was not a document. I didn’t have any document, per se. There was nothing to declassify. These were newspaper stories, magazine stories, and articles,” Trump said.
There’s a lot going on here and this is going to reviewed: Trump on the recording of him pic.twitter.com/JpohMqb2Li
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 19, 2023