According to two persons with knowledge of the matter who spoke at the meeting and who spoke with CBS News, the lawyers for former President Donald Trump have notified the Justice Department that they have been unable to find a secret document about Iran that investigators are looking for.
The Justice Department learned about the classified paper through an audio tape it acquired as part of its investigation into the former president’s purported obstruction of justice and preservation of sensitive documents. According to the persons who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the topic, the audio includes comments Trump made to two ghostwriters for his former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, regarding Iran and how to militarily fight it.
According to one, it’s unclear whether the paper actually exists or if Trump misidentified anything to the audience gathered during the tape. They stated that prosecutors already had the tape.
Attorneys for fmr. Pres. Trump told the Justice Department that they've been unable to locate a classified document related to Iran sought by investigators that was discussed during a recorded meeting, sources familiar with the case confirmed to CBS News. https://t.co/tgIX5JhGpk
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 3, 2023
CNN was the first to report on the recording’s existence and that Trump’s attorneys informed the Justice Department that they couldn’t locate the referenced sensitive document.
The recording, which was made at a meeting in July 2021 at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, is a significant piece of evidence that prosecutors have recently amassed and presented in grand jury proceedings looking into the former president’s handling of sensitive records, CBS News previously reported.
BREAKING: Trump is hit with devastating news as the U.S. Department of Defense’s top former lawyer demands that Trump be immediately indicted by the Justice Department for violating the Espionage Act over yesterday’s “bombshell” CNN report.
But it gets even worse for Trump…… pic.twitter.com/kOTfaNUJVK
— Omar Rivero (@OmarRiverosays) June 1, 2023
According to two people with knowledge of the situation, according to a report by CBS News, Trump can be heard on the video acknowledging that the secret document had national security constraints because it described a hypothetical assault on Iran. According to the sources, it is unclear from the recording if Trump was in actual possession of the paper at the time or was merely outlining its contents to at least three other persons in the room. No one from CBS News has listened to the recording.
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The conversation was captured on tape by Trump staffer Margo Martin, and other people who were working on Meadows’ autobiography were also present, according to an earlier story from CBS News. The sources claimed that during the conversation about Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who, according to The New Yorker, had fought to prevent the president from attacking Iran in the final days of the Trump administration, the former president mentioned the classified document on the audio.
According to those with information, questions regarding this exchange as well as any additional comments by Trump of any sensitive materials, maps, or talk of Milley have been put to the grand jury’s witnesses.