US prosecutors have obtained a recording of former president Donald Trump, in which he acknowledges keeping a classified document after leaving the White House. According to a CNN report, Trump says he held onto a classified Pentagon document about a potential attack on Iran. Trump has denied the wrongdoing, even as the justice department investigates the matter.
The recording is said to be from a meeting at Trump's golf club in New Jersey in July 2021, about six months after he left the Oval Office. In the conversation, Trump is heard saying he wants to share the information, but cannot declassify the document since he is no longer president. A source has said that the file should have been declassified before he left office.
It isn't clear whether Trump had the document at the time or was describing it to those present there. Trump had previously stated that he had declassified all material he removed from the White House. The audio hasn't been made public yet. It could be key evidence for prosecutors if they seek to show that the former president was aware he should not be in possession of classified documents.
The audio clip has been handed over to investigators in the justice department, where the process is being overseen by special prosecutor Jack Smith. Investigators are assessing how these documents were stored and who may have had access to them, a BBC report reads. It will be decided whether or not Trump will face criminal charges after the investigation.