Former President Donald Trump may still have a classified document, one that details a potential Pentagon plan for attacking Iran.
Federal prosecutors for special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, obtained an audio recording of a meeting held in July 2021, during which the former president essentially admitted that he knows he can’t declassify documents at will. He brags explicitly about having kept a classified Pentagon plan to potentially attack Iran, and the sound of rustling papers can be overheard, as if Trump were waving that document around.
That meeting took place six months before Trump’s legal team sent 15 boxes of records and classified documents back to the National Archives, and more than a year before the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, seizing more than 100 documents.
But now, no one can find the Iran document.
Trump’s attorneys handed over material related to the document in mid-March, in response to another federal subpoena, CNN reported Friday, citing anonymous sources. But the legal team was unable to find the actual document in question.
Prosecutors were already skeptical that Trump had returned all of the classified documents he took. The special counsel’s team even reportedly asked a judge last year to hold Trump in contempt until he handed over all documents, but the judge declined. Trump’s team instead hired two outside people to search his properties again.
It is entirely unclear where the Iran document is, or if it was already returned to the government in one of the many boxes taken from Mar-a-Lago. Considering it lays out a plan to attack a foreign nation, it sounds like a pretty important document. Maybe someone should have kept closer tabs on its whereabouts.
Trump has been getting a lot of heat in recent weeks, as new reports continue to surface that he knew that he wasn’t supposed to keep classified documents and that he couldn’t classify them at will. But when asked about the recording during a Fox News town hall on Thursday, Trump denied all wrongdoing.
“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump said. “All I know is this: Everything I did was right.”