Thursday, June 1, 2023

Trump On Tape Discussing Secret Document

What would someone with an inflated but fragile ego, no impulse control or sense of duty to the country, and a narcissistic desire to show everyone how important and relevant he is do with state secrets?  Why, he'd start flapping his big mouth:

Special counsel Jack Smith has obtained a 2021 recording in which Donald Trump appears to brag about having a classified document related to Iran, suggesting the former president understood both the legal and security concerns around his possession of such restricted information, multiple people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

The recording was made at a meeting at Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, N.J., said the people, who like others interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation. The audio features Trump describing a multi-page document that he claims is about possibly attacking Iran, expressing a desire to share that information with others but also making some kind of acknowledgment that he shouldn’t do so, the people said.

The existence of the recording was first reported by CNN. It has not been made public, and the people familiar with it would not describe Trump’s statements verbatim. But for Justice Department prosecutors examining Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House, the audio could be important evidence about Trump’s state of mind and his understanding of the rules about classified information — and it might show the path of certain sensitive documents once they left the White House.

Trump’s lawyers have suggested that the former president either did not know he possessed classified documents after leaving the White House or could have declassified such material while in office...

What would the existence of this evidence in the hands of the Special Counsel mean?  The legal experts opine:

If reports about the tape are accurate, [former federal prosecutor Andrew] Weissmann said, “There will be an indictment and it is hard to see how given all the evidence that we’ve been talking about that there will not be a conviction here. I mean, this is a tape recording.” 

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, talking on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour,” said it would be “unbelievably powerful to play a tape recording for a jury and to have them hear the defendants essentially confess that he knew that he could not declassify information on the spot,” which has been one of Trump’s defenses in the scandal.  [snip]

“Make no mistake. This is squarely an Espionage Act case. It is not simply an ‘obstruction’ case,” [former Defense Department Special Counsel Ryan] Goodman added. “There is now every reason to expect former President Trump will be charged under 18 USC 793(e) of the Espionage Act. The law fits his reported conduct like a hand in glove.”...  (our emphasis)

If his loose lips were flapping about one particular classified document, you can believe they were flapping about others, perhaps in exchange for ... what?  The more the spool on this case unravels, the more questions arise.  Given the transactional, craven, amoral Malignant Loser, we wouldn't be surprised to learn that money or favors were exchanged for access to state secrets.  For example, wouldn't the Saudis love to have any contingency plans for an attack on their rival Iran that the US had? And what wouldn't the Malignant Loser be capable of in his quest to curry favor with war criminal Putin or other tyrants that the Malignant Loser found common interests with?

To quote a certain interested party on a different, happier topic, "This is a big f*cking deal."

(Image:  No doubt he was blabbing at Mar-a-Lardo, too/ illustration by The Daily Beast/ Getty Photos)

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