Donald Trump knew he was not supposed to share classified documents, prosecutors allege in an indictment.
But he showed a classified battle plan after serving as president, saying “Look what I found,” authorities say.
He also showed a classified card to a member of his political team at Mar-A-Lago, according to the indictment.
Federal prosecutors allege Donald Trump showed classified documents months after leaving the White House showing battle plans and a classified map in front of a writer and a member of his political action committee in two separate incidents.
Trump – who now faces 37 counts in the classified documents scandal, including charges of conspiracy and espionage law violations – kept boxes of classified documents at his Mar-A estate -Lago in Florida, according to prosecutors.
And he didn’t hesitate to show them, the court documents suggest.
‘This is secret information. Look, look at this’
In July 2021, months after leaving the White House, the former president met with a writer and publisher at his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, about an upcoming book, according to the indictment.
The meeting was recorded with Trump’s permission, federal authorities said.
Trump greeted the two visitors, then pulled out a classified document showing the attack plan proposed by a senior military official and said, “Look what I found,” according to the indictment.
The indictment shows Trump was eager to refute reports that he wanted to attack a foreign country during his presidency.
The military leader’s battle plans – which have been classified – were proof that “I didn’t do it, he did it,” Trump said, according to prosecutors.
“Except it’s like, highly confidential,” Trump said, according to prosecutors. “Secret. This is secret information. Look, look at this.”
Later, Trump admitted he “could have declassified” the plans, but “now I can’t,” the indictment says.
In a separate proceeding at Mar-A-Lago in August or September 2021, prosecutors said, Trump met with a member of his PAC.
During the meeting, Trump said a foreign military operation was not going well at the time, then showed the PAC representative a classified map of the foreign country, according to the indictment.
Trump told the PAC representative he was not supposed to share this and warned him not to get too close, prosecutors said.
“I have the right to do all this”
Trump has vowed to fight the allegations and accused the Biden administration and the Justice Department of a politically motivated “witch hunt” in bringing the charges against him.
In an online post Friday, Trump penned a furious attack on Jack Smith, the special counsel who is bringing the criminal charges against him. Trump called Smith a “deranged ‘psychopath’ who shouldn’t be involved in ‘justice’ related matters in any way.”
Trump has also asserted — as his lawyers have done in previous media interviews — that he always has the ability to declassify documents.
“Under the Presidential Records Act, I am authorized to do all of this,” Trump wrote of the allegations.
Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last September that he just needed to think about declassifying the documents for that to happen.
This interpretation flies in the face of standard procedure used under previous presidents to declassify documents — including channels Trump himself used during his presidency.
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