Jack Smith, the special counsel investigating Donald Trump's theft of secret White House documents, seems to have strong evidence against the former president's argument that he did not know that taking state secrets home was prohibited: a recorded recording made on July 21, 2021 in which Trump explains that he would like to be able to comment on the contents of one of those reports, but that the law does not allow it. The theme of the document in question does not invite calm when assessing what Trump stole from the White House: a US plan to launch a military attack against Iran.
The contents of the recording have not been made public but, according to what anonymous sources from the Justice Department have told CNN television, Donald Trump's words make it clear that the former president knew that those were classified documents. This refutes the argument of Trump and his lawyers that he is capable of declassifying secret documents only with the power of his mind, that is, without saying anything to anyone, nor, of course, formalizing it in writing. In any case, that argument has no legal force.
But the recording indicates something that may be more damaging to Trump, as it suggests that he knew what he was doing was illegal. That indicates intent in the commission of the crime and also shows that he has been lying to FBI investigators since he left the White House and those documents were found to be missing. In any case, as long as the exact content of the conversation in question is not known, all evaluations are simply cabals.
The recording was made at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, in New Jersey, near New York, where the president usually spends the summer, away from the sweltering heat of Florida, where his official residence is, also the Mar Mar Country Club. -a-Lake. At the moment it is unknown what Smith's team will do with it. The United States has much more lax legislation on privacy of communications than Europe, and in many states it is legal to record private conversations without the consent of the people involved. According to The New York Times, the recording was made with Trump's consent, as part of the preparation of the book that his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, published about his experience in the White House.
Another different thing is the political impact that this audio document is going to have. There, Trump appears to benefit from legal action against him. His popularity experienced a spectacular rise when he was prosecuted in New York for payments to the pornographic actress Stormy Daniels so that she would hide the sexual relationship they had had during the 2016 election campaign.
Despite his well-proven care not to say anything compromising in public, Trump has a considerable record of recordings that have cost him politically or legally. The most famous is the one on the television show Access Hollywood, in which he said that when you're rich, women literally let themselves be grabbed by their genitals. Trump currently has a criminal case on the Georgia bench after asking in a phone call - also recorded - the political leaders of the state, to fabricate the necessary votes so that he could win the elections there. Finally, the telephone conversation between Trump and the president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, in which he asked the latter to announce the opening of an investigation against Hunter Biden, the son of the then candidate for the US presidency - who would end up defeating him at the polls - triggered his first impeachment.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project