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Jim Jordan Confronted on Trump Allegedly Admitting Documents Are Classified

Jim Jordan Confronted on Trump Allegedly Admitting Documents Are Classified

Representative Jim Jordan was asked on Sunday by CNN host Dana Bash about former President Donald Trump allegedly admitting that he was keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

Trump, who was indicted on Thursday, is facing 37 counts ranging from willful retention of classified documents to obstruction charges in connection to the Department of Justice‘s (DOJ) investigation into whether he mishandled classified documents after leaving office in January 2021. Federal prosecutors are accusing the former president of mishandling sensitive presidential records and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. Trump, however, has maintained his innocence, accusing prosecutors of investigating him for political reasons.

Republicans have offered an array of reactions to the indictment, with some GOP critics saying the indictment lays out serious allegations against the former president. But most conservative politicians are continuing to support Trump, repeating his claim that the investigation is politically motivated.

Jordan, the Ohio Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, is one of those Republicans standing by the former president.

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Representative Jim Jordan presides over a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C. on February 9. Jordan, an Ohio Republican, was pressed about former President Donald Trump allegedly admitting to keeping classified documents during an appearance on CNN Sunday morning.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Jordan faced questioning from Bash over an alleged audio recording detailed in the indictment in which Trump allegedly admitted that he maintained a classified Department of Defense (DOD) document during a meeting at his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey.

“See, as president, I could have declassified it,” Trump allegedly said on the recording. “Now I can’t, you know, but this is still a secret.”

Bash pressed Jordan about the recording, asking, “In this indictment, he states that he did not declassify the information. When he’s showing a document to someone, who doesn’t have security clearance I might add, he says explicitly that it is classified. That he didn’t declassify it.”

Jordan responded by pointing to previous statements Trump made saying that he declassified all of those documents while he was president.

“He has said time and time again he’s declassified all this material,” he said. “This is the most political thing I have ever seen. They’re indicting President Trump on Tuesday for having material that he declassified.”

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Newsweek reached out to Jordan’s office for comment via email.

While Jordan sought to downplay the recording, legal scholars have warned that it could be troubling for the former president.

Conservative lawyer Jonathan Turley described the allegations as “most damaging” in an opinion piece published in The Hill on Saturday, noting that the tape would contradict his past statements about the documents.

“This is damaging on various levels. For one thing, it contradicts his prior claims to have declassified all of the documents. It also suggests that the government has a motive for trial,” he wrote.

The 37 counts Trump is facing includes 31 counts of willful retention of classified documents and one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations. His arraignment has been set for Tuesday in Miami.

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Published: 2023-06-11 20:58:58

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