Former Trump White House Lawyer Says DOJ Prosecutors ‘Have Their Foot on His Neck’


Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb said his former boss Donald Trump is in a tough spot after it was reported the Department of Justice has audio of Trump admitting he took classified documents upon leaving office.

“The recording indicates Trump understood he retained classified material after leaving the White House, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation,” CNN reported on Wednesday, stating the material in question pertained to a potential attack on Iran. “On the recording, Trump’s comments suggest he would like to share the information but he’s aware of limitations on his ability post-presidency to declassify records, two of the sources said.”

Trump has long maintained that he declassified all documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence last year. If the reporting is accurate, it indicates Trump knew he did not. Special Counsel Jack Smith is currently investigating his actions in the case.

Appearing on CNN’s OutFront, Cobb – who has already stated the DOJ has an viable obstruction case against Trump – told Erin Burnett the new revelation is very bad news for the former president.

“One, it further enhances the obstruction case because it eviscerates the two defenses that Trump has put forward – the first being that merely by taking documents, he declassifies them or that he has the authority if he is playing with the ducks in the hot tub to declassify them in his own mind,” Cobb said. “Those are out the door now because he’s admitted that he understood there were restraints on what he could do with documents.”

Cobb said the existence of such a recording could prompt Smith to link the obstruction case to the retention of documents.

“The second is, it could put additional pressure on Jack Smith to tie the obstruction case to the actual possession and use or dissemination of the classified documents,” he continued. “My own view is he doesn’t need to extend or compromise the obstruction case by taking on the burden of the classified documents case because he gets the full benefit of the classified documents evidence anyway in through statements like this. So I think this makes the obstruction case more compelling.”

He added, “I don’t see any eagerness on the part of Jack Smith and his team to slow down… I think they have their foot on his neck. I noticed that Trump – as he did three days before he was indicted by Alvin Bragg – was raising money today on the alleged coming indictment by Jack Smith. So I think Trump and his own team believe this is gonna come quickly.”

Watch above via CNN.

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Mike is a Mediaite senior editor who covers the news in primetime.