Former US President Donald Trump is back at the news front after an audio recording was leaked of a 2021 meeting in New Jersey where he discusses holding secret documents he did not declassify.
During the two-minute audio, Trump is heard discussing a secret Pentagon plan to attack Iran, hinting that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley was the one who planned the attack.
"He said that I wanted to attack Iran. Isn't it amazing?"
In the audio, Trump is shuffling through papers, saying: "I have a big pile of papers. This thing just came up. Look. This was him. They presented me this – this is off the record, but – they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defense Department and him."
It is customary for the Pentagon to present military plans to the US President as Commander of the Armed Forces as part of a set of preventive plans that depend on several options offered in issues relating to national security.
The recording sheds light on Trump's legal troubles. "As president, I could have declassified it," Trump says. "Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret."
The audio is an implicit admission that he did not declassify the documents during his term, contrary to the previous claims.
Without a doubt, the new recording will form the basis of the prosecution's arguments in the classified documents case, in which Trump faces 37 counts related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Meanwhile, several Republicans who support the former president in Congress seek to "clear" his record in the House of Representatives, which approved measures to impeach him twice while he was president.
Congresswomen Elise Stefanik and Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced resolutions to formally expunge the impeachments of Trump as if such Articles of Impeachment had never passed the full House of Representatives.
The project puts Republican leaders in an awkward position, as putting it to a vote will force conservative Republicans to take a public stance towards Trump at a time when the former president faces criminal charges and official investigations.
But Republicans who support Trump seek to show their support and loyalty in various ways, including putting forward another project to nullify the first impeachment measures in 2019.
They point out that the procedures did not include holding any congressional hearings on the issue and that the vote was only two days after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it forward to score political gains.