Former Trump lawyer: Reported audio ‘eviscerates’ defense in documents investigation
Former Trump administration White House lawyer Ty Cobb said late Wednesday that an audio recording that reportedly reveals former President Trump discussing a classified document he took from the White House “eviscerates” Trump’s defense in the Justice Department’s (DOJ) classified documents probe.
Cobb said in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett that the recording undermines Trump’s previous arguments that he could declassify documents just by taking them out of the White House or that he could declassify them simply by thinking about it.
“It further enhances the obstruction case because it eviscerates the two defenses that Trump has put forward,” Cobb said.
CNN reported earlier Wednesday that the DOJ had obtained the recording of Trump discussing the document — which refers to a potential U.S. attack on Iran — during a meeting at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., in July 2021.
Cobb said on CNN that Trump’s arguments are “out the door” because he acknowledged on the tape that he knew there were restraints on what he could do with the documents.
Cobb said the recording could also place additional pressure on special counsel Jack Smith to tie the potential obstruction of justice case to Trump’s possession and use of the documents. But he said Smith would not have to take on the “burden” of a case on classified documents along with one on obstruction, because he already has access to the evidence on Trump’s possession of the documents.
Pursuing cases on obstruction and possession would slow down the proceedings, Cobb added, something Smith does not appear to want to do.
“I think Trump and his own team believe this is going to come quickly,” Cobb said, referring to a potential indictment.
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